Earth will experience significant climate change in the coming century as a result of greenhouse gas buildups, but the more extreme estimates of global warming generated by some studies are unlikely to occur, according to newly published research.
"This still commits us to quite a bit of climate change, but it leaves the door open to avoiding the largest and most devastating consequences," said Gabriele C. Hegerl, a Duke University climate expert who led the study.
Even a few degrees increase can have significant environmental and economic impacts, but by downgrading the worst-case scenarios the new work may convince governments that it is not too late to take action, Hegerl said. Models suggest that carbon dioxide levels could reach double the pre-industrial levels between 2050 and 2100. Peak temperatures would occur decades later, as the planet's climate system settled into a new balance.
Let's hope this study gets some attention and that the powers that be are willing to act.