Russian scholars made a weather forecast for three centuries ahead

Specialists from the RAS Obukhov Institute of Physics of the Atmosphere (IFA RAS) presented a climate model for the three next centuries. The Russian scholars not only agreed with the world scholars’ conclusions regarding the upcoming global warming but also proposed a hypothesis that land-based ecosystems will soon start emitting carbon dioxide instead of absorbing it as is the case now.

Working on the global climate model, IFA RAS employees used modern scenarios of man-induced impact of the RCP (Representative Concentration Pathways) family. The Science and Technology publication reported that scholars had held numerous experiments starting with the year 850 and ending with 2300. They took into consideration: man-induced impact on the climate and its natural changes at the account of greenhouse emissions; troposphere and stratosphere volcanic sulfated aerosols; alterations of the solar constant, and changes of agricultural areas. It turned out that this climate model is quite accurate in simulating climate changes that have already taken place or are going to take place: in 1906–2005, the temperature had been growing at the rate of 0.74 ± 0.18° С per century.

As far as the changes to take place in the future are concerned, Russian scholars are coming to the conclusion that 1.1–2.9 degree warming shall be expected in the XXI century; it should be mentioned that the actual level will significantly depend upon the strength of anthropogenic impact.

At the most optimistic forecast which presumes minimal anthropogenic impact, the global near-surface temperature shall go down; by the XXIII century it will be half degree below the level of the XXI century; however, it will be 0.6 degree above the level existing now. Perpetually frozen subsoil will start melting due to the warming. Its area will first reduce but then partially restore and amount to 12 mln sq. km in 300 years.

Under more tough scenarios, in XXII–XXIII centuries, it will get 0.2–3.3 degrees warmer on the earth, while in the continental regions of the Northern hemisphere non-tropical latitudes the increase might be of 6–10 degrees. The area of perpetually frozen subsoil will go down from the current 18 mln sq. km to 4–11 mln sq. km, while the perpetually frozen subsoil might entirely disappear in the XXII–XXIII centuries in case of active man-induced impact.

It is interesting that Russian scholars have been giving different assessments to what had been happening on the planet. By an earlier version of the Physics Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences (FIAN) employees, the planet had been undergoing the process of global cooling. The temperature of the planet went down by 0.3 degree. The scholars are sure that by 2015, it will go down by another 0.15 degrees and will correspond to the climate of the early 1980s.
By 2020, the scholars forecast severe winters, similar to those of 1978 and 1979. By 2040, in their opinion, our planet will ultimately start freezing. The scholars saw the cause of such changes not in human civilization’s activities but in the particles of cosmic dust. Authors of this theory claimed that at least four serious alterations of the average global temperature with altitudes up to 8 degrees had taken place on the Earth in the last 1300 years! As compared to this, the global cooling they predict could be considered of reduced impact.

However, researchers from the RAS Obukhov Institute of Physics of the Atmosphere are coming up with a shocking discovery: terrestrial ecosystem might start emanating carbon dioxide into the atmosphere instead of absorbing it as is the case now. With that, СО2 emission will start already as of the end of XXI century.

So far, the Russian scholars are far not unanimous. However, if we evaluated scholars’ results accumulated on the global scale, the question if the Earth is facing a global warming or global cooling, is not that important. The important thing is that climate does change and that it is changing rapidly. This fact has been long ago acknowledged by the international community, and now it is not being ignored by the Russian science as well. Russian scholars agree that changes of the temperature even for one degree in such a short time period is a lot for the global climate. They also acknowledge the man-induced contribution in the climate change. This means that people should immediately start take measures in order to alter the situation.