RELIEF? A new judge who CANCELS the worst-case scenarios about the future of the Earth
The Earth’s surface will almost certainly not heat up by 4-5 degrees Celsius by 2100, claims a study which, if true, cancels the worst predictions of the United Nations on climate change, writes “Guardian”.
Revised calculations on the impact of harmful gases on temperature have reduced the ranking of potential outcomes at the end of the century by more than half, say the researchers in a report published in the journal “Nature”.
-Our study excludes very low and very high climate sensitivities – says study leader Peter Cox, a professor at the University of Egeter.
Climate sensitivity is the sensitivity of the climate to changes in the energy state of the Earth.
How effectively the world will reduce emissions, improve energy efficiency and develop technologies to remove CO2 from the air – will determine whether climate change will be repairable or will mean a path to ruin.
Uncertainty about what will turn out in the end also stems from the inability of scientists to answer a simple question: how much will the average temperature of the Earth increase if the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere doubles?
This “known unknown” issue is called the balance of climate sensitivity, and for the last 25 years the UN Interstate Panel on Climate Change – the supreme authority in the field of climate science – has determined it in the range of 1.5-4.5 degrees Celsius.
With the help of the new methodology, Cox and his colleagues came to a smaller range – 2.2-3.4, with an average estimate of 2.8 degrees Celsius.
This, if true, precludes the most destructive scenario.
“These scientists have made more accurate estimates of how the planet will react to rising CO2 levels,” said Pierce Forster, director of the Priestley International Climate Center at Leeds University.
– Having a lower probability of very high sensitivity is encouraging. A very high sensitivity would make it extremely difficult to limit climate change to the goals of the Paris Agreement – says Gabi Hegerl, a climate scientist at the University of Edinburgh, who, like Forster, did not participate in the study.
The main goal of the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015 calls for maintaining global warming “well below” 2 degrees Celsius compared to the pre-industrial era and efforts to reach a “ceiling” of 1.5 degrees.
The authors of the study warn that their discovery does not mean that the problem of climate change should not be urgently addressed.
– We will continue to witness significant warming and its consequences in this century, if we do not increase our ambitions to reduce CO2 emissions – Forster points out.