Climate change is essentially irreversible, according to a sobering study from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Once the ocean has heated up, it will warm the planet for thousands of years, according to lead author Susan Solomon. If carbon dioxide is allowed to peak at 450-600 parts per million, it will take millenia for the excess CO2 to dissipate, according to Solomon, with NOAA. The current level of carbon dioxide is 385 parts per million. Currently the oceans are absorbing the excess heat and carbon dioxide, but they will reach a saturation point, according to the study.
Ms. Soloman says the permanence of the predicted changes is not a reason to do very little, but a reason to take immediate action right now.
“If it’s irreversible, it seems all the more reason to do something about it,” she told NPR.