Carbon Dioxide Review: 1982



A series of publications appeared in 1982 on climatic implications of increases in CO2 concentration. Analyzing the status of numerical modeling of CO2 impact on climate, M. Schlesinger (Oregon State University) has compiled a summary of 66 models, which is, nevertheless, quite inadequate, since Soviet studies as well as some other investigations have not been considered. All these studies show that the recently growing interest in the problem of anthropogenic effects on climate is far from abating, which is quite natural in view of the enormous practical implications of the climate change problem.

Since no climatic consequences of CO2 increase have been observed so far, the major way of studying this effect has been numerical simulation of varying complexity, aimed first at an approximate assessment of possible changes in mean global climate (characterized by air surface temperature), and then in zonal and regional climates considered in sophisticated three-dimensional models. Though the estimates of mean global climate warming, on the assumption of a doubled CO2 concentration, vary widely, most of the experts believe that the value 3±1.5°C is most likely. However, this conclusion is inconsistent with the results of studies carried out by R.E. Newell and T.G. Dopplick and by S.B. Idso. Their results show that mean global warming should be about an order of magnitude less. However, their work has been severly criticized and considered erroneous (odd that obviously overestimated values of CO2 warming have not been so radically criticized).