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article imageThreshold for dangerous warming will be crossed between 2027-2042

By Tim Sandle     Dec 29, 2020 in Environment
While it is clear that time is running out to stop the damage to the planet caused by climate change, the threshold may be closer than previously thought. Unstoppable dangerous warming will likely be crossed between 2027-2042, say researchers.
This warning, that the threshold beyond which there could be no return in terms of permanent damage to the planet, comes from a new research study undertaken at McGill University. The threshold is widely accepted as the Earth's mean temperature rising by 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared with pre-industrialized levels. This existential Anthropocene moment, of the threshold falling between 2027 and 2042, is much earlier than the date battered around by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The United Nations body, which seeks to provide the world with objective, scientific information, estimates that the threshold could be further away - 2052.
The new study argues that the 2027 to 2042 prediction is more accurate, based on a more precise method to assess the Earth's temperature. The model draws upon historical data and it is said to reduce some of the uncertainties that exist within other models. The data is drawn on analysis of the Earth's atmosphere, oceans, ice levels, land surface temperature, and the Sun.
What is being offered by the McGill 2027 - 2042 model is not a certainty. All models will contain flaws, but it does means that action is required with greater urgency. Should appropriate action be taken then the model may not develop into a certainty. It isn't (yet) too late to reverse human-initiated damage to the planet. Appropriate measures include achieving net zero global carbon dioxide emissions and declining net non-carbon dioxide radiative forcing, as a soon as practicable.
The research appears in the journal Climate Dynamics and it is titled "An observation-based scaling model for climate sensitivity estimates and global projections to 2100."
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