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Earth's climate in 100-200 years

  1. Jan 17, 2017 #1
    I'm writing a story that set in the second half of the next century, but i think my questions are about real science.
    Lets suppose that current trends continue for a while, until either fossils depleted, or become unviable to use them, so for a few decades i guess.
    Is there significant chance, that ice disappears from North Pole, there wont be snow in North Europe?
    Any estimation how much could sea level rise? How could climate change affect Africa?
    I hope this is a reliable enough link, it shows further sources, but if there is any problem with it, i try to find a better one.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 17, 2017 #2
    I think ice will be gone from the north pole within a decade or two. As for snow, I would expect some really wicked storms. Warmer air means more energy, which means more violent storms. It also means more humid air, so I would actually expect the amount of snow to rise dramatically as the climate gets warmer.

    The seas won't rise that quickly. Most estimates put it at less than a half a meter for a hundred years. Devastating to coastal regions, who will now also face more intense storms, but Manhattan will still be there, London will too. Our technology will keep up against slowly rising waters in wealthy areas.

    The Sahara will also not turn green in a hundred years. Even if the currents changed enough to moisturize the area, there is no soil there either. You can't just add moisture to an area and make it grow, it'll require generations of mulch to go down before vegetation really takes hold. That's assuming humans haven't irrigated it with technology to feed ourselves.
  4. Jan 17, 2017 #3

    Andrew Mason

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    It would be interesting to write a story set in the next millennium. According to http://ftp://ftp.soest.hawaii.edu/engels/Stanley/Textbook_update/Science_297/Berger-02.pdf7.summary [Broken], the Greenland and west Antarctic ice sheet could disappear due increased CO2 levels and, even if the CO2 concentrations return to natural levels by the year 3100 the effect will be continued warm temperatures for 50,000 years.

    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2017
  5. Jan 17, 2017 #4
    No ice on North Pole but even more snow? I dont understand that, if ice dont remain even ön the Pole, how could snow remain ön the Northlands?
  6. Jan 17, 2017 #5
    In winter continental climate is colder than oceanic climate and may act as cold trap for warm moist air from the sea.

    But I have another doubt: Would't the thermohaline circulation stop without oceanic ice formation? That would weaken or even stop the Gulf Stream and therefore cool the arctic climate. In the best case (with a fast feedback) this could result in an equilibrium with a minimum ice formation in winter. In the worst case (with a delayed response) it could result in strong oscilations between warm and cold climate.
  7. Jan 17, 2017 #6
    4 Billion years of continual climate change on Earth.
  8. Jan 17, 2017 #7
    The north pole has gotten less than https://snowfall.weatherdb.com/l/18718/North-Pole-Alaska [Broken]. It's been losing significantly more than that. The poles warm faster than anything else and there isn't enough time for snow to accumulate positively. Even though there will be more snow, there will be more energy available to melt that snow.

    Snow (and rain) comes out of the ocean. The warmer the oceans are, the more humid the planet gets. Humidity causes wetness, and the greater heat differentials make more violent storms.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2017
  9. Jan 17, 2017 #8

    Andrew Mason

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    Yes. Generally, very slow climate change due to gradual changes in atmospheric concentrations of CO2 and very long Milankovitch cycles that affect solar insolation in polar regions. What appears to be different about the current warming trend is that it is occurring much more rapidly than natural cycles. There are also a lot more people living in coastal areas that will be affected.

  10. Jan 18, 2017 #9
    Thanks. What could i expect for tropical Pacific?
    Really hot times, big storms, corall reefs replaced by algae?
  11. Jan 18, 2017 #10
    Probably. El Nino has been getting consistently more energetic. The Great Barrier Reef will likely die within a few decades, it's going in big waves. Over the last 30 years, about half of it died. In the past two years, more than 60% of the northern part of it bleached over. There are also parts of it that are going just as strong as before, which will likely cause some recovery in the new niches before the next event.

    Heat though probably not. Global warming doesn't add much heat to the tropical regions. Climate change isn't purely about heat, it's about energy, and energy can manifest in ways other than heat. I'd actually expect the equator to get (relatively) cooler as the winds rushing from the equators to the poles pick up strength.
  12. Jun 18, 2017 #11
  13. Jun 19, 2017 #12
    Hawaii is in the Gyre...
  14. Jun 19, 2017 #13
    But much souther than trash part
  15. Jun 25, 2017 #14
    The above link refers to North Pole, Alaska (at 64.7511°N, 147.3494°W). Which is a suburb southeast of Fairbanks, and is not the actual north pole of the planet.

    Over the next 200 years the planet will most likely warm by another 2.0°C ± 0.5°C, based upon the last 100 years. Sea levels will continue to rise between 0° and 45° North latitude, and sea levels will continue to fall above 45° North latitude (actually, the sea levels remain unchanged, but the land is still rebounding from the last glaciation period 15,000 years ago, so the sea levels appear to be dropping by a significant amount). Atmospheric carbon dioxide will increase to between 450 and 500 ppmv, or even higher if we are lucky.

    Judging from the duration of prior warming periods (Minoan [~300 years], Roman [~600 years], and Medieval [~300 years]), we can expect this warming cycle to last somewhere between 300 and 600 years. Since this warming period began after the end of the "Little Ice-Age" around 1850, that would put the end of this warming period somewhere between 2150 AD and 2450 AD. Although it should be noted that the Mid-Holocene Warm Period (between 5,000 to 7,000 years ago) was considerably longer in duration and much warmer than any of the prior warming periods, including this one.

    Warmer climates will have some impact on the distribution of the flora and fauna. More permafrost will melt and arable lands will move further north. A warmer climate will, however, have very little effect on the overall snowfall. Yes, more ice and snow will melt when compared with today's run-off as a result of higher temperatures, but there will also be more rain and snow than today due to more evaporation. A warmer climate will also have an impact on the seas. Some species will thrive in warmer waters and it will expand their range, while other species requiring colder more nutrient-rich waters will have less area and become more constrained.

    Overall, warming periods have significantly benefited humanity. We have achieved the most cultural, technological and artistic advancements during these warming periods. It is the cooling periods where humanity has suffered the most, from arrested artistic and cultural development, even technological regression, to huge pandemics that wiped out millions.
  16. Jun 26, 2017 #15


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    Sorry this is against the rules. yes the planet is warming, yes part of it is natural, yes part of it is because of increased population and the associated man made luxuries.

    No, the planet is not at danger, yes, we, humans, are going to be inconvenienced, especially those on the edge of the water. Perhaps, other species that are accustomed to this climate, but others will thrive.

    Please stick to the rules.
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2017
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