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Nature_and_Environment.7

Global Climate Change

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{Nature_and_Environment.7.543}: Jay Hoffman {resist} Tue, 14 Jan 2020 22:37:48 CST (54 lines)

New climate models suggest Paris goals may be out of reach
by Marlowe Hood

New climate models show carbon dioxide is a more potent greenhouse gas
than previously understood, a finding that could push the Paris treaty
goals for capping global warming out of reach, scientists have told
AFP.

Developed in parallel by separate teams in half-a-dozen countries, the
models—which will underpin revised UN temperature projections next
year—suggest scientists have for decades consistently underestimated
the warming potential of CO2.

Vastly more data and computing power has become available since the
current Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) projections
were finalised in 2013.

"We have better models now," Olivier Boucher, head of the Institut
Pierre Simon Laplace Climate Modelling Centre in Paris, told AFP,
adding that they "represent current climate trends more accurately".

The most influential projections from government-backed teams in the
US, Britain, France and Canada point to a future in which CO2
concentrations that have long been equated with a 3C world would more
likely heat the planet's surface by four or five degrees.

The new models reflect a better understanding of cloud dynamics in at
least two ways that reinforce the warming impact of CO2.

Zelinka said new research had confirmed high clouds in the bottom
layer of Earth's atmosphere boost the Sun's radiation—and global
heating accentuates that dynamic.

"Another big uncertainty has been how low clouds will change, such as
stratocumulus decks of the west coast of continents," he said.

Recent observations suggest this type of cloud cover decreases with
warming, which means less of the Sun's energy gets bounced back into
space by white surfaces.

With one degree Celsius of warming so far, the world is coping with
increasingly deadly heatwaves, droughts, floods and tropical cyclones
made more destructive by rising seas.

The IPCC, the UN's climate advisory body, posits four scenarios for
future warming, depending on how aggressively humanity works to reduce
greenhouse gases. The so-called "business-as-usual" trajectory of
increased fossil fuel use would leave large swathes of the planet
uninhabitable by century's end.

"Climate sensitivity had been in the range of 1.5C to 4.5C for more
than 30 years. If it is now moving to between 3C and 7C, and that
would be tremendously dangerous."
"https://phys.org/news/2020-01-climate-paris-goals.html"

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