The good news is that the various models for predicting climate change are improving. Increased observations, improved algorithms, and more inclusive studies mean the projections are improving.

The bad news that the models are trending towards bad news. In an attempt to engage the general public without being too alarming, previous studies emphasized the conservative projections. The new models are reinforcing the projections made by the less conservative projections. Things are getting worse faster than expected. Instead of crossing the 2C threshold in 2060, the planet will probably cross that possible point-of-no-return in 2030. Instead of the planet warming up by a little more than 3C by 2100, it may hit almost 6C. “Observationally-informed projections” follow an more moderate, yet too disruptive trend hitting 2C in 2040, and 5C in 2100.

We’ve never experienced such dramatic climate changes directly which means our models continue to evolve as additional feedback mechanisms engage. So far, it looks like the feedbacks tend to accelerate rather than moderate climate change. That could change the conversation from “how to reverse climate change” to “how to adapt to an accelerating climate.”

One thought on “Improved Climate Change Projections

  1. Pingback: Data That Matters December 2017 | Pretending Not To Panic

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