2°C warming goal now 'optimistic'

2012-02-09 22:47

Paris - French scientists unveiling new estimates for global warming said on Thursday the 2°C goal enshrined by the United Nations was "the most optimistic" scenario left for greenhouse-gas emissions.

The estimates, compiled by five scientific institutes, will be handed to the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for consideration in its next big overview on global warming and its impacts.

The report - the fifth in the series - will be published in three volumes, in September 2013, March 2014 and April 2014.

The French team said that by 2100, warming over pre-industrial times would range from 2°C to 5°C.

The most pessimistic scenarios foresee warming of 3.5-5.0°C, the scientists said in a press release.

Achieving 2°C, "the most optimistic scenario," is possible but "only by applying climate policies to reduce greenhouse gases", they said.

In its Fourth Assessment Report published 2007, the IPCC said Earth had already warmed in the 20th century by 0.74°C.

It predicted additional warming in the 21st century of 1.1-6.4°C, of which the likeliest range was 1.8-4.0°C.

The French estimates are derived from two different computer models that crunch data for four scenarios based on atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide (CO2), the main greenhouse gas.

The work differs from previous calculations as it takes into account the reflectivity of clouds and uptake of CO2 by the oceans and other factors that can skew the equation, the authors said.

Meeting in Cancun, Mexico in December 2010, countries under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) set 2°C above pre-industrial times as the maximum limit for warming.

They vowed to consider lowering it to 1.5°C if scientific evidence warranted this.

Small island states and other poor nations badly exposed to climate change are lobbying for the 1.5°C limit.

  • Paul - 2012-02-10 06:27

    So the initial IPCC models forecast an alarming temperature increase for this century of up to 6C. Now that they have included obvious things like the reflectivity of clouds (who would have thought?), uptake of CO2 by oceans (duh!), and hopefully heat lossed from the atmosphere into space, they now reckon that temperatures will increase by 1.5-2C at the most from the pre-industrial era. We have already had an increase of about 0.75C since then, which means they have revised their global warming forecast from an increase of up to 6C to around 1C for this century. No wonder there are over 30,000 dissenting US scientists (10,000 with PhDs) that have signed a declaration objecting to the IPCC's global warming conclusions. Interesting hey?

      Ernst - 2012-02-10 09:58

      This list (also known as the petition project) you are referring to is totally bogus, see: Almost all people that signed this list dont even have qualifications in climate science. Perhaps you should write your findings down and present them at an international climate science conference and see what the real experts have to say about your claims.

      Jakes - 2012-02-10 10:46

      Ernst - your argument is hollow. Can't you see it? Address the facts as reported, not your personal beliefs.

      Ernst - 2012-02-10 11:40

      @Jakes: What argument is hollow? I am pointing out that the list being referred to is bogus. Very few people that signed this list are actually qualified climate scientists. Hence, there is no credibility and so referring to it or using it as a source to back up your view is simply not acceptable.

      Ernst - 2012-02-10 11:44

      The fact is burning billions of tons of oil, coal and gas, cutting down rainforests etc. is going to have an effect on the climate. There is no way you can get around the law of cause and effect. This is NOT rocket science.

  • Getafix - 2012-02-10 10:09

    C02 is not the main greenhouse gas! It is a linked to the tempretures around the planet. The warmer it is, the more C02 there is. volcanoes produces more c02 than all of us. Only way to curb our pollution is for the big players who do the c02 power to cash transaction to get a cleaner source of power. Tax those retards, not us.

  • Shistirrer - 2012-02-10 12:04

    The so-called "climate scientists" are confusing me now. Yesterday there was an article about the Himalayan glaciers melting at only 10% of the original estimate. Today this article that the speed of "global warming" is underestimated. OK guys, now which is it? Are you overestimating or underestimating? You don't really have a clue, do you? Climate change, yes. Extreme weather conditions, yes. These are part and parcel of cyclic climate changes the world has gone through since time began. Global warming? No way. Please tell the people in Europe who are dying in one of the coldest winters on record, not to worry, the earth is warming up.

      Ernst - 2012-02-10 14:07

      Do you suggest that we conduct experiments on our climate system and continue to add greenhouse gasses because estimations arent always accurate. Dont you think this is risky and just plain stupid?

  • Eric - 2012-02-10 12:14

    The human-induced global warming disciples, and the scientists in the pay of big green, would have us believe that: (1) cold temeratures (2) hot temperatures (3) floods (4) droughts are all proof of warming - and ignore the fact that the Maldives are still there - and - and -. Even if they are correct, the solution is simple = nuclear power.

      Ernst - 2012-02-10 14:05

      "....and the scientists in the pay of big green...." This is a sweeping statement.

  • Shistirrer - 2012-02-10 15:27

    Ernst, when Abe Lincoln said "You can fool some of the people all of the time..." he was talking about YOU. Go educate yourself:

      Ernst - 2012-02-10 15:32

      The website you site is not based on peer reviewed research. In other words: It has not been scrutinized by experts in the field.

      Ernst - 2012-02-10 15:50

      Could you please give me the credentials of these "scientists" referred to in this link.

  • juanontheweb - 2012-02-10 16:16

    confusion is a great way to hide the deceiving lies and exaggeration of events that are being published, society is so gullible and dumb as a whole, its all a globalization agenda! Be vigilant and think for your self1

  • Clayton - 2012-02-13 23:12

    OK this is how it works: Monopolies have burnt our fossil fuels and ravaged our rain-forest to make money for themselves and know they using global warming to make more money from us

      Clayton - 2012-02-13 23:33

      Sorry....spelling mistake..if u realized it

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