Global warming argy bargy

A study suggests that long-term changes in the Earth’s orbit would have resulted in an ice age between 10,000 and 100,000 from now, if it were not for the effect of anthropogenic global warming:

The chill would induce a long, stable period of glaciation in the mid-latitudes, smothering Europe, Asia and North America to about 45-50 degrees latitude with a thick sheet of ice.

However, there is now so much CO2 in the air, as a result of fossil-fuel burning and deforestation, that this adds a heat-trapping greenhouse effect that will offset the cooling impacts of orbital shift, said Crowley.

“Even the level that we have there now is more than sufficient to reach that critical state seen in the model,” he said. “If we cut back [on CO2] some, that would probably still be enough.

Apparently this isn’t an excuse to continue venting CO2:

Crowley cautioned those who would seize on the new study to say “‘carbon dioxide is now good, it prevents us from walking the plank into this deep glaciation’.”

“We don’t want to give people that impression,” he said. “(…) You can’t use this argument to justify [man-made] global warming.”

[story at Physorg][image from Pear Biter on flickr]