FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

How to Stop -- Or Live With -- Global Warming

According to research at Princeton, current technologies are capable of stopping (or at least slowing) the rate of global warming by 2050 if properly applied. Using a mix-and-match approach, students who participated in a game-like experiment found that the current portfolio of energy-saving policies and technologies (flourescent bulbs, nuclear power, wind turbines, reducing deforestation, etc.) could indeed keep global greenhouse gases constant over the next 50 years. The trick is to apply these solutions to developing countries, where rapid industrial growth will put them on track to overtake the developed world in greenhouse gas output within the next several decades.

Meanwhile, Live Science has a top-10 list of side effects of global warming, such as more severe allergies, more sinkholes from permafrost melting, a less dense upper atmosphere that will affect how satellites orbit the earth, more forest fires and rapid deterioration of ancient ruins. Perhaps the strangest prediction of all: mountains that lose their glaciers and permanent snow caps will actually "grow" as the weight on them decreases.