Scientists have narrowed their predictions for global warming

Scientists have narrowed their predictions for global warming

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How much will greenhouse gases heat the planet?
For more than 40 years, scientists have expressed the north as the range of possible temperature increases between 1.5 and 4.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 and 8.1 degrees Fahrenheit), which would result in carbon dioxide levels twice the preindustrial time . Now, a team of researchers has sharply reduced the temperature range, hardening it to between 2.6 and 4.1 degrees Celsius.
Steven Sherwood, a climate scientist at the University of New South Wales in Sydney and author of the new report, said the group’s research suggested that these temperature changes, known as “climate sensitivity” because they reflect how sensitive the planet is to carbon dioxide. The level of K is rising, now it is unlikely to be lower than the low end of the range. Research also suggests that “dangerously high sensitivity” of 5 ° C or higher is less likely, although they are “not impossible,” Sherwood said.
However, there is still an array of impacts, meaning that worldwide disaster if not rapid reductions in emissions in the coming years.
Masahiro Watanabe, a professor at the Institute of Atmosphere and Ocean Research at the University of Tokyo and an author of the report, said that setting an accurate range of temperatures was critical to international efforts, like the Paris Climate Agreement. To mitigate the effects of climate change.
“Reducing uncertainty is responsible for making sound decisions not only for climate science, but also for society,” he said.
The new paper, published Wednesday in the journal Geophysics, significantly lowered the temperature range and shifted it towards warmer results. Researchers determined that there was less than a 5% chance of a temperature change below 2 degrees, but a 4.5% to 6% to 18% chance of high temperatures.
If the effect of carbon dioxide is at or even below the lower end of the range, then climate change will be less affected by emissions and the planet will warm more slowly. If the Earth’s climate is more sensitive to carbon dioxide levels, the expected results are not only more imminent, but also more destructive.
Scientists noted that Earth’s temperature is already around 1.2 degrees Celsius, well above pre-industrial levels, and if current emission trends continue, doubling atmospheric carbon dioxide before the end of this century Can.
Andrew Deissler, a climate scientist at Texas A&M University who was not the author of the report but who was one of its first outside reviewers, called the paper “an actual tour day force”, saying that “it Probably the most important paper I have read in years. ”
For many years, those who wanted to reduce the risk of climate change have tried to say that sensitivity is low, and therefore rising greenhouse gases will have little effect. And some recent climate models have suggested that warming may be catastrophically worse.
The value of the paper, Dessler said, lies in the way that it states the possible range of the world’s temperature.
“The number of people arguing on climate sensitivity was too small, and a small number claiming it was too much,” he said, “and I think the case for those positions is now very weak that it The paper has been published. ”
This means that those who reduce the severity of climate change and the need for action are still a very difficult case, Dussler said.
“It would be great if the suspicion was correct,” he said. “But it is clear that the data does not support that contention.”
The paper, produced under the World Climate Research Program, an international science organization, brought together three broad areas of climate proof: prehistoric temperatures preserved in things such as sediment samples and tree rings, as well as satellites, the temperature record since the Industrial Revolution. Records of. Climate system observations and computer models. No one could set the limit alone, but the researchers found ways to mathematically cover the three disciplines to reach their conclusions.
Gavin A., director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies and author of the paper. Schmidt said, “This paper is the first to really try and include all the disputed sources of observational evidence in a coherent package.” .
Another author on the paper, Gabrielle Hegerl, a professor of climate systems science at the University of Edinburgh, said the way the research threads came together was amazing.
“We don’t expect these three lines to fully agree,” she said, but hoped they would “overlap”. And they did, she said, “from our research I’m stronger than ever.”
Not everyone is ready to accept new results. Nicholas Lewis, an independent scientist who has been a critic of aspects of mainstream climate research and who has found flaws in the work of others, backed out of a major study last year on ocean warming, the new paper’s reliance on computer models Explain the lines of evidence questioned, as well as the group’s definition of climate sensitivity. He also suggested that the paper ignored some potential complications from changes in clouds and convection.
Schmidt said the new paper made all data and methodology available.
“It’s a real challenge for those who think it’s wrong to go to the experts, change the assumptions, run the code and show us their results,” he said.
Some degree of uncertainty about breaking the planet is unavoidable, said Zeke Hossfather, scientist at The Breakthrough Institute and an author of the paper. But the current range is “not a good amount of warming”, he said, noting that ending the extremes still leaves a middle boundary which means climate disaster.
“You don’t need 5 degrees of warming to justify climate action,” he said. “Three degrees is very bad.”


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