'Past a point of no return': Reducing greenhouse gas emissions to zero still won't stop global warming, study says
-Humanity is beyond the point of no return when it comes to halting the melting of permafrost, a new study says.
-To stop the warming, "enormous amounts of carbon dioxide have to be extracted from the atmosphere."
-Some experts are skeptical of the computer model used in the study.
Even if human-caused greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced to zero, global temperatures may continue to rise for centuries afterward, according to a scientific study published Thursday.
"The world is already past a point of no return for global warming," the study authors report in the British journal Scientific Reports. The only way to stop the warming, they say, is that "enormous amounts of carbon dioxide have to be extracted from the atmosphere."
The burning of fossil fuels such as oil, coal and gas release greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere, causing global temperatures to increase and sea levels to rise.
The scientists modeled the effect of greenhouse gas emission reductions on changes in the Earth's climate from 1850 to 2500 and created projections of global temperature and sea level rises.
"According to our models, humanity is beyond the point of no return when it comes to halting the melting of permafrost using greenhouse gas cuts as the single tool," lead author Jorgen Randers, a professor emeritus of climate strategy at the BI Norwegian Business School, told AFP.
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