Controlling Global Climate Change Page 465
than it is radiating back to space. is large energy
imbalance is close to the 0.85 watt per square meter
energy imbalance that is predicted by supercom-
puter simulations.17 Computer models predict a
faster warming in the future, with a temperature
increase of 1.8 to 4.0 degrees Celsius (°C) by the
e Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change (IPCC) model-based projections of global
average sea-level rise at the end of the 21st century
(2090-2099) range between 0.18-0.38 meters and
0.26-0.59 meters.19 A 20-inch sea-level rise (50.8
centimeters) would double the global population
at risk of storm surges to more than 90 million
without adjustment for the world’s population
growth.20 A one-meter rise would inundate much
of Bangladesh as well as other coastal areas world-
wide. A two-meter rise would put the cities of
Lagos, Nigeria, and Shanghai, China, below water
and ood 20% of the populated area of Egypt. It
also would ood the Republic of Maldives in the
Indian Ocean and the Pacic atoll island nations
of Tokelau, Tuvalu, and the Marshall Islands.21 e
projected impact of global warming includes an
increase in the intensity and frequency of storms.
e social and economic impact of hurricanes has
increased because of more development and more
people living in vulnerable areas. While models
have improved, EPA is concerned that existing
models do not allow the prediction of impacts out
to 2050 that will help local air quality planning.
In the fa ll of 2008, EPA was seeking bids from
the private sector to engage in research eorts to
improve long-term models.22
e global atmospheric concentration of CO2 in
pre-industrial times was about 280 ppm; in 2009,
it was 384.8 ppm.23 A nnual growth in CO2 emis-
sions during the 1990s averaged 0.9 ppm per year;
17. Data From Space, Oceans Validate Global Warming Timeline,
W. P, Apr. 29, 2005, at A13.
18. Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Climate Change
2007: e Physical Science Basis, Summary for Policymakers 2, 5,
13 (Feb. 5, 2007).
19. Id. at 13.
20. E O P, O S
T P, C C S K
() [hereinafter C C].
21. James E. Neumann et al., Sea-Level Rise & Global Climate Change
3 (Pew Center on Global Climate Change 2000).
22. Agency Spurs Development of Local, Long-Term Climate Change
Models, 19 C A R. (Inside EPA) 20 (Sept. 4, 2008).
23. CO2 Information Analysis Center, Oak Ridge Natural Laboratory,
Recent Greenhouse Gas Concentrations, http://cdiac.esd.ornl.gov/
pns/current_ghg.html (last visited Aug. 3, 2009). See also Bert
Bolin, e Carbon Cycle, B 47 (1970).
from 2000 to 2007 the growth in CO2 emissions
was 3.5% per year.24 In 2001, the National Research
Council concluded that GHGs were accumulat-
ing in the atmosphere as a result of human activ-
ity that are likely to cause surface and subsurface
ocean temperatures to rise, but there is uncertainty
concerning the magnitude of future warming and
whether some signicant part of these changes
reect natural variability.25 In 2007, the increase in
atmospheric CO2 was 2.2 parts per million (ppm),
which is above the 2.0 ppm average annual increase
for the previous decade.26
e U.N.’s IPCC in 2001 stated that global
warming is occurring and that humans are a cer-
tain contributor to global climate change.27 e
IPCC released its report on April 6, 2007, accom-
panied by claims that the scientic assessment was
softened at the insistence of the governments of
China and the United States. Among its ndings
are a predicted increase in water runo in high lati-
tudes and water shortages in wet, tropical areas. It
projected an increase in air pollution and in infec-
tious disease incidence due to global warming. It
says: “No one on Earth will escape the impacts of a
warming planet.” A study by the National Oceanic
and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) pub-
lished January 26, 2009, reports that the impact
of CO2 emissions is largely irreversible and will
continue for more than 1,000 years after emis-
sions have stopped.28 Another government report
released June 16, 2009, concluded the nation is
now experiencing the eects of climate change.29
Most of the observed increase in global averaged
temperature since the mid-20th century is very
likely due to the increase in human-caused GHG
concentrations in the atmosphere.30 On February
2, 2007, the United States Government announced
24. Dean Scott, Global Carbon Concentrations Accelerating at Almost
Four Times Growth Rate of 1990s, 39 Env’t Rep. (BNA) 1967
(Oct. 3, 2008); Leora Falk, CO2, Methane Concentrations Increased
in 2007, NOAA Index Shows, 39 Env’t Rep. (BNA) 853 (May
25. N R C, C C S, A
A S K Q ().
26. Scott, supra note 24.
27. I P C C (IPCC), C
C : S R (Robert T. Watson ed.
28. Andrew Childers, NOAA Study Finds CO2’s Impact on Temperature,
Rainfall Largely Irreversible, 40 Env’t Rep. (BNA) 224 (Jan. 30,
29. Oce of Science & Tech. Policy & NOAA, Global Climate
Change Impacts in the United States, http://www.globalchange.
visited July 29, 2009).
30. IPCC, 2007: Summary for Policymakers, http://www.ipcc.ch/
(last visited Feb. 26, 2009).