New climate models unveiled on Tuesday by French researchers showed that the Earth’s average temperature could increase by one “creepy“6.5 to 7.0°C above pre-industrial levels by the end of the century if drastic action is not taken immediately to reduce carbon emissions.
The findings, presented at a press conference in Paris, suggest the planet could be warming much faster than scientists previously thought, as the world’s major economies continue to burn fossil fuels at unsustainable rates.
“Unfortunately, our global failure to implement meaningful action on climate change over the past few decades has put us in a situation where what we need to do to keep warming to safe levels is starkly simple,” Joeri said. Rogelj, associate professor at Imperial College London. Told AFP. “Global greenhouse gas emissions must decline today rather than tomorrow, and global CO2 emissions should be brought to net zero.”
The new models are expected to be part of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Sixth Assessment Report, which is expected to be released in 2021. The IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report, released in 2014, presented the worst-case scenario of five degrees Celsius of warming by the end of the century.
Olivier Boucher, director of the Climate Modeling Center at the Pierre Simon Laplace Institute in Paris, which developed one of the new models, said the latest data provides better insight into the direction the climate is taking without drastic changes in global energy production.
“We have better role models now,” Boucher said. AFP tuesday. “They have better resolution and they more accurately represent current climate trends.”
Bloomberg reported that only “one of the updated climate models used by the researchers kept global temperature increase below 2°C by the end of the century”. This model assumed global carbon neutrality by 2060.
The worst-case scenario of 6.5-7.0°C warming assumed continued economic expansion driven by growth in fossil fuel production.
The IPCC warned last year that even limiting global warming to 1.5°C by the end of the century, the goal of the Paris Climate Agreement, would not prevent many of the disastrous effects of the climate crisis . A warming of 6.5-7.0°C would be catastrophic.
“Higher warming would allow less time to adapt and mean a greater likelihood of crossing climatic ‘tipping points’ such as permafrost thaw, further accelerating warming,” Boucher said.
In an email to Common dreamsMichael E. Mann, a climatologist at Penn State University, warned of the dire scenarios predicted by the new models.
“Some earlier versions of the models seemed to underestimate climate sensitivity somewhat,” Mann said, “and I suspect some of these newer versions overestimate it somewhat.”
“I suspect, ultimately, we’re probably looking at something in the range of 3-4C and no more, at least for short-term warming,” Mann added. “If we let the warm[ing] persist for centuries, then other long-term positive feedbacks (vicious cycles) could kick in, giving us much more warming.”