The Guardian, Friday 29 April 2005
The world is getting warmer – and US scientists now know precisely how much warmer. They calculated the radiation from the sun, the heat reflected back into space, and the rising temperature of the seas and say the extra warmth is equivalent to a 1 watt lightbulb shining constantly over an area of 1 sq metre everywhere on the planet.
That would raise average temperatures by 0.6C before the end of the century, they report in Science today. Warming at that level, maintained over 10,000 years, would melt enough ice to raise sea levels by a kilometre.
“This energy imbalance is the smoking gun that we have been looking for,” said James Hansen, director of Nasa’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies. “It shows that our estimates of the human-made and natural climate forcing agents are about right, and they are driving the Earth to a warmer climate.”
Ninety percent of the US will be underwater, like Manhattan’s West Side Highway has been since 2008.