‘Worst case scenario’ climate change predictions by the UN, where the Earth warms by up to five degrees Celsius by 2100 will almost certainly not happen, researchers say.
In research published in the journal Nature, new analysis of how greenhouse gases will drive temperatures reduces the range of outcomes by more than half, the researchers say.
‘Our study all but rules out very low and very high climate sensitivities,’ said lead author Peter Cox, a professor at the University of Exeter.
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The new calculation is based on a method of calculating how much Earth’s surface temperature will rise if the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere doubles.
Previously, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimated this to be between 1.5C and 4.5C.
But Cox and his colleagues say that the range is more likely to be 2.2C to 3.4C, with a ‘best estimate’ of 2.8C.
Piers Forster, director of the Priestley International Centre for Climate at the University of Leeds said, ‘These scientists have produced a more accurate estimate of how the planet will respond to increasing CO2 levels.’