Research warns of higher than predicted global warming
July 11, 2017
New research, published in the journal Science Advances, has warned that temperature rises recorded over recent decades do not take into account the global warming already in the pipeline and that the ultimate heating of the planet could be higher than currently predicted.
The research, by Dr Cristian Proistosescu of Harvard University, undermines hopes that global climate models are overly sensitive to CO2 forcing and that the ultimate amount of warming that Earth would experience at a given concentration of greenhouse gases is less than previously thought.
Current models of carbon sensitivity - a measure of how much temperatures will rise for given levels of CO2 emissions - suggest that doubling of CO2 emissions would result in global warming of not more than 3 degrees C.
However, the new research, based on computer modelling and data from historical warming periods, concludes that such models fail to take account of the continuing warming of the oceans that takes place for decades or centuries after the CO2 has been added to the atmosphere, resulting in amplification of future warming.