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Can We Rule Out A Worst Case Global Warming Scenario? These Scientists Sure Think So


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A new study is bolstering arguments that the United Nations’ worst case manmade global warming scenario is not likely to happen.
The study, published in the journal Nature, claims to have narrowed the likely range of how sensitive the climate is to a doubling of atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations, or climate sensitivity.
Researchers used variations in past temperatures to get what they say is a more accurate range of future warming. Essentially, the study was able to rule out the very high end estimates of climate sensitivity, meaning the United Nations’ worst case scenario is less likely than climate models suggest.
On the other hand, the study also ruled out the low-end estimates of climate sensitivity, which researchers say means there is still enough projected warming to “demand action.”


“Our study all but rules-out very low or very high climate sensitivities, so we now know much better what we need to,” lead author Peter Cox from the University of Exeter said in a statement.:snip:

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Future climate change revealed by current climate variations

January 17, 2018, University of Exeter

Uncertainty surrounding the extent of future climate change could be dramatically reduced by studying year-on-year global temperature fluctuations, new research has shown.

A team of scientists from the University of Exeter and the Centre of Ecology and Hydrology has pioneered a new process to reduce uncertainty around climate sensitivity - the expected long-term global warming if atmospheric carbon dioxide is stabilised at double pre-industrial levels.

While the standard 'likely' range of climate sensitivity has remained at 1.5-4.5oC for the last 25 years the new study, published in leading scientific journal Nature, has reduced this range by around 60 per cent.

 

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Yes, global warming will be bad. But these scientists say it won’t reach the worst-case scenario.

Chris Mooney

January 17 2018

Climate scientists on Wednesday suggested that they may be able to rule out some of the most dire scenarios of what would happen if greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere were to double.

Unfortunately, the same scientists say the best-case scenarios are also probably unrealistic.

How a doubling of atmospheric greenhouse gases would affect the climate is of tremendous importance, as humans are running out of time to avoid that outcome. With current atmospheric concentrations at 405 parts per million, as opposed to about 280 parts per million before the dawn of the industrial era, the planet is already about halfway there.

 

(Snip)

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