Carbon emissions and Global Warming

If America reduced its carbon emissions to zero, would there be a immediate measurable effect on global warming? How long would it take for the effect? What would be climate consequences be?

If the world reduced its carbon emissions to zero, would there be a immediate measurable effect on global warming? How long would it take for the effect? What would be climate consequences be?

How much will carbon emissions have to reduced to stop global warming? If global warming is stopped, how will the world climate be effected? Will glaciers return? Will ocean currents go back to their per-warming state? How long will it take for global warming to be reversed?

What effect will reduced carbon emissions have on the poor in developing countries?

How many tons of carbon does the US emit each year?
What fraction of that is carbon dioxide and what’s in the form of other greenhouse gases?

Could you possibly do some of the lifting for this OP yourself, or do you need our help?

I think what the OP was trying to get at (and please correct me if I’m wrong) was, “If all Americans/all humans suddenly disappeared, how long would it take for the claimed AGW effects to reverse themselves?” Sort of like that Discovery Channel series about the world after humans disappeared.

All of the current climate computer models presuppose continued manmade pollution production. What if the pollution production stopped? I don’t mean tapered off or the growth slowed but starting on January 1, 2010 all factories shut down, all transportation was limited to bicycles, animal drawn vehicles or wind powered, and we basically went back to a pre-industrial society. Maybe we’d have to go even further back because, after all, we have been burning coal and wood for millennia. How about we got back to Predynastic Egypt pollution production levels? How long before the AGW damage is fixed?

This might sound like I’m being a smartass but I’m serious when I ask if this had ever been modeled?

Knowing how science (and scientists) work, it probably has been modeled. Whenever you construct a model, you always try it out for the parameters on the boundary, just to see what happens and to gain a better qualitative understanding of the problem, even if those boundaries aren’t very plausible. That said, though, I don’t know what the results of those models have been.

That’s what I figure as well but I was wondering if anyone had seen any results. Could GIGObuster or one of the resident AGW experts chime in?

The answer, if I understand the question correctly, is in here. Enjoy.

This was one of the reasons that I came to the conclusion that cap and trade, Kyoto, and Copenhagen are kinda stupid. See this thread for more.

I think he is referring to what the expected temperature will be if we stop now and at other times in the near future. The paper in your link concentrates on the very long picture.

The same writer of the cited article also published this in 2005 regarding the most probable effects that cutting emissions will do in a shorter time span:

In the real world: no, forever and none at all.

In the real world the productivity, and hence the emmissions, would simply be taken up by somewhere else. This is one of the biggest problems facing the Copenhagen conference. If the US, or indeed the entire developed world, reduce emmissions without either drastically reducing their standard of living or ensuring a concommitant reduction in the developing world, the only result will be that the developing world wil take up the slack and increase emmissions to the same degree.

The fact is that people will want aluminium foil as long as they can afford it. The only way to make them not afford it is to reduce the standard of living which is political suicide. So the alternative is for the US not to produce aluminium. At which stage, because the demand is still there, production will increase in the developing world to take up the slack. There’s no advantage to this, and in fact it is counter productive, because developing economies tend t produce more greenhouse gases per unit of product.

The US unilaterally switching to zero emmissions mode won’t do a damn thing unfortunately.


If we follow some of the suggestions on the table ATM, developing countries are expected to reduce their emissions by much less, or actually allowed to increase emissions, in addition to which they will be compensated for any emissions reductions they do achieve over business as usual. Under that scenarios more industry will move to developing countries and the poor in those countries will be much better off.
If you mean under a scenario where everybody reduces emissions, that’s highly debatable. Reducing emissions means making everything more expensive. IOW everybody becomes poorer, but people in the developed world are hit relatively harder. That means fewer taxes, less charity donations, more people in poverty at home, less purchasing of foreign goods and an inevetible decline in both foreign aid and foreign spending. That ain’t gonna be good for a factory worker in Delhi of Beijing.