Claim: Runaway greenhouse effect possible — oceans could ‘boil away’

The Indepedent reports:

A runaway greenhouse Armageddon in which the oceans boil dry could theoretically happen on Earth, researchers claim.

The good news is that human activity on its own will probably not be enough to trigger such an end-of-the-world scenario in the near future.

Previously it was thought more energy from the sun would be needed for global warming on Earth truly to spin out of control.

But new calculations from Canadian and US scientists show that catastrophic warming can occur more easily than had been assumed.

For a planet receiving the same amount of solar radiation as the Earth, a runaway greenhouse effect is a realistic possibility.

The team, led by Colin Goldblatt from the University of Victoria in Canada, wrote in the journal Nature Geoscience: “The runaway greenhouse may be much easier to initiate than previously thought.

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5 thoughts on “Claim: Runaway greenhouse effect possible — oceans could ‘boil away’”

  1. So where is all of the boiled water supposed to go? Does the runaway greenhouse effect cancel gravity and allow all of Earth’s water to escape into space? I suppose increased evaporation might increase cloud cover and increase reflectivity… Nah. Runaway greenhouse is much sexier. That’s got to be the more likely scenario… Oh, I see, per the article, they didn’t even consider the effect of clouds. The joys of oversimplification.

  2. Even Jim Hansen has acknowledged that the temperature on Venus has nothing to do with greenhouse gas concentrations and everything to do with the density of the Venusian atmosphere and the adiabatic lapse rate of a gas of that density.

  3. “But new calculations from Canadian and US scientists show that catastrophic warming can occur more easily than had been assumed.”
    But how do we know these “new” calculations are any more accurate than the models we have been subjected to over the last few years, many of which have been dicey at best. Remember the tree ring models? This looks like more rentseeking.

  4. the main thing that seems to boil up in all of this is the bull crap that flows out of these experts so-called brains. The atmosphere could also boil away, just ask the science fiction writers.

  5. Scientists may postulate a mechanism for a runaway greenhouse effect but there’s no evidence that such an event is going to happen, nor that humans would cause or prevent it.
    For that matter, a runaway cooling is more probable — we know that has happened repeatedly in the last 100,000 years.
    Comparing the Earth to Mars or Venus is a very limited exercise; when people talk about a runaway greenhouse like Venus’s, they are comparing apples to aardvarks at best.

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