Environmental Consequences of Increasing Atmospheric CO2: Beyond Global Warming
Department of Global Ecology, Carnegie Institution
Currently, humans are releasing about 1000 metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every second through the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation. About half of man-made carbon dioxide emissions is absorbed by the ocean and land, and the remaining half stays in the atmosphere. It is well-known that increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations cause global warming through the greenhouse effect. It is probably less well-known that the increased burden of carbon dioxide in the ocean and land also has profound effects on marine and terrestrial systems. In this talk, the speaker will first give a background introduction of the earth climate system, the global carbon cycle, and climate and earth system modeling. Then, from an earth system modeling perspective, he will discuss some recent research findings related to the environmental effects of anthropogenic CO2 emissions. Lastly, he will discuss the long lasting climatic impact from the burning of fossil fuels.
Dr. Long Cao is a research scientist in the laboratory of Ken Caldeira, Department of Global Ecology, Carnegie Institution, located on the Stanford University campus. The Department of Global Ecology conducts basic research on the interactions among the earth's ecosystems, land, atmosphere, and oceans, with a goal to understand the ways these interactions shape the behavior of the earth system, including its responses to future changes.