The Horizon Magazine: World on track for catastrophic warming – forecasters

A recent article in the Horizon Magazine raises concerns about forecasts suggesting the possibility of catastropihic climate warming. The level of greenhouse gas emissions being produced around the world means that, as things stand, temperatures are likely to rise by around 4.5 degrees by 2100, unless significant reductions are agreed, sophisticated climate simulations show.

‘Emissions at the moment track closely the worst scenarios used for estimating future climate change,’ said Professor Colin Jones from the University of Leeds, who is based at the Met Office, UK. ‘If we look at actual emissions over the past 15 years and just plot them as a line, they generally follow the worst-case scenario… in our modelling studies.’

‘Those estimates, plus or minus 10 % to 20 %, I would be very confident in,’ said Prof. Jones, coordinator of the CRESCENDO project, which is working to better understand how climate change will affect the way that the oceans and vegetation absorb CO2 from the atmosphere by the end of the century.It means that, unless emissions are seriously curbed, we’re in line for a global mean temperature increase of around 4.5 degrees Celsius by 2100, compared with average temperatures from the pre-industrial era.

Even in the next five years, temperatures are likely to be between 0.18 and 0.46 degrees Celsius higher than the average from 1981 to 2010, and it’s going to make a noticeable difference around areas such as the Mediterranean.

‘In 10 years’ time, it will be even worse than it is now, so that’s the kind of problem we are addressing, (that’s) the urgency of climate change,’ said Professor Francisco Doblas-Reyes from the Catalan Institute of Climate Sciences, Spain.

Read the full artilcle here.

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