by Henry Bodkin
world has warmed
less than predicted
Climate change poses less of an immediate threat to the planet than
previously thought because scientists got their modeling wrong, a
new study has found.
New research by British
scientists reveals the world is being polluted and warming up less
quickly than 10-year-old forecasts predicted, giving countries more
time to get a grip on their carbon output.
An unexpected "revolution" in affordable renewable energy has also
contributed to the more positive outlook.
Experts now say there is a two-in-three chance of keeping global
temperatures within 1.5º above pre-industrial levels, the
ultimate goal of the 2015
They also condemned the "overreaction"
US's withdrawal from the Paris
announced by Donald Trump in June, saying it is unlikely to
make a significant difference.
According to the models used to draw
up the agreement, the world ought now to be 1.3 degrees above the
mid-19th-Century average, whereas the most recent observations
suggest it is actually between 0.9 to 1 degree above.
We're in the midst of an energy
revolution and it's happening faster than we thought
Professor Michael Grubb, University College London
The discrepancy means nations could
continue emitting carbon dioxide at the current rate for another 20
years before the target was breached, instead of the three to five
predicted by the previous model.
"When you are talking about a
budget of 1.5 degrees, then a 0.3 degree difference is a big
deal", said Professor Myles Allen, of Oxford University and one
of the authors of the new study.
Published in the journal
Nature Geoscience, it suggests
that if polluting peaks and then declines to below current levels
before 2030 and then continue to drop more sharply, there is a 66
per cent chance of global average temperatures
staying below 1.5 degrees.
The goal was yesterday described as
"very ambitious" but "physically
The story is also
covered by the Independent, which quotes Myles Allen, one of the
"We haven't seen that rapid
acceleration in warming after 2000 that we see in the models. We
haven't seen that in the observations."
The original forecasts were based on
twelve separate computer models made by universities and government
institutes around the world, and were put together ten years ago,
"so it's not that surprising that
it's starting to divert a little bit from observations",
Professor Allen added.
This is the paper (Emission
Budgets and Pathways Consistent with Limiting Warming to 1.5°C)
I have a number of
thoughts about this:
known for several years that the climate models have been
running far too hot. This rather belated admission is
welcome, but a cynic would wonder why it was not made before
part of the motivation is to keep Paris on track.
observers, including even James Hansen, have realized that
it was not worth the paper it was written on. This new study
is designed to restore the belief that the original climate
targets can be achieved, via Paris and beyond.
they talk of the difference between 0.9ºC and 1.3ºC, the
significance is much greater.
reasonable assumption that a significant part of the warming
since the mid 19th century is natural, this means
that any AGW (anthropogenic
global warming) signal is much less than previously thought.
they now admit they have got it so wrong, why should we
be expected to have any faith at all in the models?
must remember that temperatures since 2000 have been
artificially raised by the recent record El Niño,
and the ongoing warm phase of the
Given the latest
admission, there is every likelihood that global temperatures will
remain flat for a good time to come...