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Climate Science does about-face, dials back 'worst-case scenario'

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A comment published last week in Nature, a leading scientific journal, has thrown a monkey wrench into hundreds of studies and media stories that previously predicted dire climate consequences in the future due to increased carbon dioxide (CO2) in our atmosphere.

The consequences were predicted by a computer model called Representative Carbon Pathways (RCP), and the worst-case scenario model, RCP8.5, had been cited more than 2,500 times in scientific journals and in hundreds of media stories as the primary need for "urgent action" on climate.  Predictions from the RCP8.5 model suggested maximum global temperature increases of nearly 6°C (10.8°F) by the year 2100, shown in Figure 1.


In the original scientific paper, RCP8.5 had just a slim 3-percent chance of becoming reality.  Since climate alarmists (and some climate scientists) prefer to preach future doom to spur action, the predictions of RCP8.5 have become known as the "business-as-usual" scenario, even though it was nowhere close to that.

However, in a stunning walk-back, climate scientist Zeke Hausfather of the Breakthrough Institute bucked the climate consensus and said the RCP8.5 worst-case scenario is unlikely to happen.  The reason?  We can't get there, given how much fossil fuel is being used now.  The model assumes a 500-percent increase in the use of coal, which is now considered highly unlikely, since coal use has dropped significantly, as seen in Figure 2.



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