Climate Change Will Continue to Year 3000

According to new research published in the latest edition of the journal Nature Geoscience the current impact of CO2 on the atmosphere will have lasting effects for the next thousand years, in the best case scenario.

Within the proposed thousand years, the computer simulations created saw climate change patterns reversing in places such as Canada, desertification in North Africa as the land dries out by up to 30 percent, and ocean warming by up to 5°C in the Southern Ocean around Antarctica is likely to cause the collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet and cause a sea level rise of at least four metres.

This is the first climate model to predict so far into the future, and is based on best-case zero-emissions — cutting carbon emissions to zero — scenarios created by a team of researchers from the Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis (an Environment Canada research lab at the University of Victoria) and the University of Calgary.

“We created ‘what if’ scenarios,” says Dr. Shawn Marshall, co-author of the paper, Canada Research Chair in Climate Change and University of Calgary geography professor. “What if we completely stopped using fossil fuels and put no more CO2 in the atmosphere? How long would it then take to reverse current climate change trends and will things first become worse?”

The research team at the University of Calgary created zero-emission scenarios beginning in 2010 and in 2100.

One of the possible explanations for the variability between the Northern Hemisphere and the Southern is the slow movement of the ocean water from the North Atlantic into the South Atlantic.

“The global ocean and parts of the Southern Hemisphere have much more inertia, such that change occurs more slowly,” says Marshall. “The inertia in intermediate and deep ocean currents driving into the Southern Atlantic means those oceans are only now beginning to warm as a result of CO2 emissions from the last century. The simulation showed that warming will continue rather than stop or reverse on the 1,000-year time scale.”

Southern Hemisphere wind currents may also play a role in the variability. Marshall says that winds in the global south tend to strengthen and stay strong without reversing. “This increases the mixing in the ocean, bringing more heat from the atmosphere down and warming the ocean.”

Source: University of Calgary
Image Source: NASA HQ Photo

20 thoughts on “Climate Change Will Continue to Year 3000”

  1. Hi, Joshua. Thank you for an excellent article on an important topic, written for popular consumption. As an American, I see our country as full of arrogant and ignorant attitudes, as shown in some of the comments here. As Asia stops buying our bonds and our national debt continues to grow, and with our country importing tremendous amounts of fuel, I would think that we will be feeling the real results of inflated, unfounded opinions that guide many actions here in the United States. Unfortunately, what we are doing here affects the whole world, when it comes to climate change.

    I believe we must each build our personal character as well as we can, so that through the cumulative influence each of us leaves behind, societies in the future, when faced with crises of water, food, and energy, will inflict the least possible amount of damage on each other’s and their own citizens.

  2. Greetings: Joshua S. Hill

    I am working on an interesting invention that is in your area of endeavor. It would take about 5 minutes to determine it’s viability for someone with a basic understanding of our atmosphere. I’m listing a number of things that this invention could do and although they’re strange please consider that many scientific ideas or inventions were once thought impossible before they were proven. The following are a few possibilities:









    We could do this even with co2 at a level of 100,000 ppm.


    Soon I will have secured my patent and then I plan to send a copy to a number of science magazines and organizations such as yours (if interested), NASA and NSF for scientific assessment.

    Does your organization seek such scientific discoveries for review and possible publication? To whom and what department should I address?

    Thanks for your time.


  3. Dang Zach looks like the Earth shifting not only causes climate change,it also brings all the idiots out! I have never read such uninformed uneducated comments in my life.
    Looks like you have became a NUTT magnet,with this post. Anyway guys keep up the great work most of us know the real truth about climate change.

    My mother always said you can’t argue with “STUPID”! 🙂

    1. Oh, believe me, I’ve seen plenty worse 😀

      Thanks for the support. It means a ton. Going through comments like I get on GW posts everyday is very disheartening.. Keep up the good work!

  4. Zachary Shahan – You must lack the basic of the most basic of skills…common sense.

    Modeling is: garbage in – garbage out

    Pity that you lack common sense or maybe even a brain. Climate modeling or any modeling for that matter is:

    junk in = junk out

    If you think that climate modeling is so exact, I don’t know what planet you live on. What mankind knows about the climate (2% maybe) and actually how the climate works cannot be modeled today and perhaps may never be modeled – it is that complex. And to think CO2 drives temperature – you must be a fruit cake of the nth degree.

    1. PeterK: Thank you for the compliments. Sometimes I wonder if it is really worth my time to respond to such comments.

      You may have whatever opinions you want on a matter. You can think the Earth is flat or the Sun revolves around the Earth if you wish. But just bcs you have unscientifically-sound belies does not make others idiots (.. I hope I don’t have to explain to you who it makes one).

      Here’s what 255 leading scientists of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (leading scientific body in the U.S.), including 11 Nobel Laureates, have to say about climate change:

      “We are deeply disturbed by the recent escalation of political assaults on scientists in general and on climate scientists in particular. All citizens should understand some basic scientific facts. There is always some uncertainty associated with scientific conclusions; science never absolutely proves anything. When someone says that society should wait until scientists are absolutely certain before taking any action, it is the same as saying society should never take action. For a problem as potentially catastrophic as climate change, taking no action poses a dangerous risk for our planet.

      “Scientific conclusions derive from an understanding of basic laws supported by laboratory experiments, observations of nature, and mathematical and computer modeling. Like all human beings, scientists make mistakes, but the scientific process is designed to find and correct them. This process is inherently adversarial— scientists build reputations and gain recognition not only for supporting conventional wisdom, but even more so for demonstrating that the scientific consensus is wrong and that there is a better explanation. That’s what Galileo, Pasteur, Darwin, and Einstein did. But when some conclusions have been thoroughly and deeply tested, questioned, and examined, they gain the status of “well-established theories” and are often spoken of as “facts.”

      “For instance, there is compelling scientific evidence that our planet is about 4.5bn years old (the theory of the origin of Earth), that our universe was born from a single event about 14bn years ago (the Big Bang theory), and that today’s organisms evolved from ones living in the past (the theory of evolution). Even as these are overwhelmingly accepted by the scientific community, fame still awaits anyone who could show these theories to be wrong. Climate change now falls into this category: there is compelling, comprehensive, and consistent objective evidence that humans are changing the climate in ways that threaten our societies and the ecosystems on which we depend.

      “Many recent assaults on climate science and, more disturbingly, on climate scientists by climate change deniers, are typically driven by special interests or dogma, not by an honest effort to provide an alternative theory that credibly satisfies the evidence. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and other scientific assessments of climate change, which involve thousands of scientists producing massive and comprehensive reports, have, quite expectedly and normally, made some mistakes. When errors are pointed out, they are corrected.

      “But there is nothing remotely identified in the recent events that changes the fundamental conclusions about climate change:

      (i) The planet is warming due to increased concentrations of heat-trapping gases in our atmosphere. A snowy winter in Washington does not alter this fact.

      (ii) Most of the increase in the concentration of these gases over the last century is due to human activities, especially the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation.

      (iii) Natural causes always play a role in changing Earth’s climate, but are now being overwhelmed by human-induced changes.

      (iv) Warming the planet will cause many other climatic patterns to change at speeds unprecedented in modern times, including increasing rates of sea-level rise and alterations in the hydrologic cycle. Rising concentrations of carbon dioxide are making the oceans more acidic.

      (v) The combination of these complex climate changes threatens coastal communities and cities, our food and water supplies, marine and freshwater ecosystems, forests, high mountain environments, and far more.

      “Much more can be, and has been, said by the world’s scientific societies, national academies, and individuals, but these conclusions should be enough to indicate why scientists are concerned about what future generations will face from business- as-usual practices. We urge our policymakers and the public to move forward immediately to address the causes of climate change, including the unrestrained burning of fossil fuels.”

      From John Pethica, Vice-President of the UK Royal Society, the leading scientific body in the UK: “Climate change is an important issue affecting everyone.”

  5. Stolen from a commenter over at Time: Too bad ignorance isn’t painful.
    Deniers are a hopeless lot.

    “Mother Nature is just chemistry, biology and physics. That’s all she is. You cannot sweet-talk her. You cannot spin her. You cannot tell her that the oil companies say climate change is a hoax. No, Mother Nature is going to do whatever chemistry, biology and physics dictate”

    “Mother Nature always bats last, and she always bats 1.000”
    -Rob Watson

  6. Absolutely nothing man does or does not do will have any significant effect whatsoever on climate change. No amount of media hype will change the facts.
    The Earth’s climate has been changing for 4.5 billion years and will continue to do so for another 5 billion years or so. Man’s total contributions are utterly insignificant in this.
    If one accepts the totally unproven theory of the Greenhouse Gas Effect, which is at best poorly investigated, and one then looks at the component gases that may contribute, one will discover that 95% of the total effect comes from water vapour. Of that 95%, virtually all (99.999%) is naturally occurring — i.e. it has nothing to do with man. The remaining 5% of the total Greenhouse Gas Effect comes from a variety of other gases. Of these, carbon dioxide is the next biggest one after water vapour. In total, it accounts for about 2% of the total Greenhouse Gas Effect. Again, however, of that 2% contribution, 99.983% is naturally occurring. Just 0.0117% is manmade (anthropogenic).
    Note that NONE of the IPCC’s predictions to date have come to pass.
    To claim, therefore, that man’s contributions are driving climate change is utterly asinine.

    1. Chris, you must be a climate scientist. Oh wait, no, you must not, since you are completely wrong, 97% of climate scientists who have been studying this for ages disagree with you, the leading scientific bodies in the world, which have reviewed climate scientists’ findings disagree with you, and even simple physical chemistry can explain why you are wrong. i’m sorry if you are afraid of admitting the reality or just spend your time on too many disinformation blogs

    2. First of all Chris I would like to inform you,that you are a complete Idiot!

      The gulf Oil spill was great for the Planet it brought cleaner water,healthier fishing,cleaner beaches and tons of new job’s.

      I googled your so called “facts” sir and with no suprise to me FOX News was all over it!

      But since you think that co2 is good for the Planet,you could try sticking your mouth over your tailpipe and breathing deeply. I hear it’s good for the Lungs.

      But it sounds like that has been a favorite past time of yours for many years. I would tell you to get on the NASA website and look at the pictures of the artic ice melt. But you would swear it was a video done by those Evil climate change people. The people who want Clean water,Air and an ecosystem.

      The USA is the only country fighting against Climate change saying its fake. Other countries are doing away with Coal and switching to renewable energy and creating JOBS!

      Or you can go to my website ( and read Climate Education for “CHILDREN” that seems to be your gradelevel. My six year old helped do the research on it,if you have any further questions she can inform you on the real facts of Climate change.

    3. Chris, your statement that “Absolutely nothing man does or does not do will have any significant effect whatsoever on climate change.” comes across to me as linear thinking. Earth’s atmosphere/ocean system is nonlinear in many ways. Such complex systems exhibit extreme sensitivity to initial conditions, also called the Butterfly Effect. This means that feedback loops magnify seemingly minute fluctuations into catastrophic changes over time. Many long term feedbacks should concern us, such as the release of methane from permafrost and undersea deposits.

      Adding a tiny spark to tinder sets in motion a positive feedback, because once the combustion temperature of a tiny bit is achieved, it releases more heat to ignite other tinder. We are kick-starting a methane thaw by burning fossil fuel. Once positive feedback gets going, it will accelerate out of control. Another such positive feedback is the underlying cause of The Venus Syndrome, the fact that, as you mention, water vapor is a greenhouse gas. As we heat the atmosphere, it holds more water vapor, which heats the atmosphere, etc. This process can literally continue until a planet boils off its oceans and the surface is sterilized. (See Peter D. Wards’ Under A Green Sky) Few people think about the real long term worst case scenarios. Fact is, we don’t know exactly what the tipping points are in these complicated processes. Best not to find them out the hard way.

      Take another look at the IPCC predictions success to date. You must have used an erroneous source. All of the sources I rely on say those predictions turned out to be too conservative.

  7. DUH!. I predict climate change will continue FOREVER.
    It is not about CO2. It is about the number of energy photons that combine with greenhouse gases to create the greenhouse effect. The sun rises (due to Earth rotation), the greenhouse effect (among others) increases, it gets warmer, then surprise surprise, the sun sets, the greenhouse effect decreases, it gets cooler, REGARDLES of how much EXCESS Greenhouse gas there is.
    As long as there is more GHGs (eg water vapor) in the air and ocean, over the limited number of energy photons, you will have a cyclic greenhouse effect. As long as the planets move in eccentric orbits varying the amount of potential energy between the planets, and hence varying the amount of energy photons available to cause the greenhouse effect, you are going to have cyclic warming and cooling. This is reality . You do NOT need a dumb computer program that uses incorrect assumptions (like all the GHGs get used whenever there are more GHGs available- are you saying that all of the water vaporized by absorbing a photon just because it exists??).

    Climate change happens naturally. It always will. Man can’t do anything to control it unless he invents anti gravity and controls the movements of all the suns & planets in existance. which just might seem to be impossible!.
    See the paper “Gravity causes Climate change” at and get some common sense.

    1. John, you must be a climate scientist. Oh wait, no, you must not, since you are completely wrong, 97% of climate scientists who have been studying this for ages disagree with you, the leading scientific bodies in the world, which have reviewed climate scientists’ findings disagree with you, and even simple physical chemistry can explain why you are wrong. i’m sorry if you are afraid of admitting the reality or just spend your time on too many disinformation blogs.

      Yes, climate changes naturally, but not at the RATE is is going to from all the GHG pollution humans are putting into the atmosphere. anyway, for more on the clear evidence we are influencing the climate, click here:

    Every day we laugh and laugh at the silly articles trumped up by scientifically illiterate journalists.Every day we laugh at the zombie fanatics defending this thermodynamically impossible hypothesis.
    Its over.

    1. beautiful, mememine69. silly article? its funny that the leading scientific bodies around the world support the climate scientists and not the gw deniers. (i guess you might have missed that memo on the climate disinformation blogs you prefer reading)

    2. Can you inform us on what you have won?

      Can you stop us from installing Solar in our homes or private companies switching to biomass,wind,hydro and Solar?

      We do not need to ask our Gov.if we can install clean energy in our homes. The thing is,you just think you have won,but let me tell ya honey your loosing the battle everyday.

      If you think you are winning by destroying the Planet,air and water that “YOU” use also then your nutts. I think we Treehugger’s are winning. We save tons of money each month on free power from the sun and wind.

      So go ahead and pay them $200.00 plus power bills and kiss Big Oil and Coals butts we don’t care. We will not back down and we will not stop fighting for OUR planet and its survival.

      Zach and Josh are illiterate journalists? I think you are lacking in the Education dept.Click on their profiles and read them? They are not uneducated idiot climate freaks! They are very well educated Gentlemen!

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