RESEARCHERS looking to the past to map the future say temperatures in polar regions will rise faster than previously thought. Dr David Evans and colleagues from St Andrews University teamed up with experts at America’s Yale University for a new analysis of conditions during the Eocene epoch, which took place between 56 and 34 million years ago. Carbon dioxide (CO2) levels were much higher then than they are now, with tropical oceans at around 36C, about 6C hotter than today. While the CO2 concentration – 40 per cent above current levels – saw temperatures elevated across the planet, the team found the impact on the polar region was particularly pronounced, with the degree of warming there “at least twice” that experienced in the tropics. The findings are based on analysis of fossilised material and predict a more severe impact on the sensitive ecosystems than forecast in climate model simulations.
The National 23rd Jan 2018 read more »
So there’s good news and bad news when it comes to predicting how hot the planet will get as a result of climate change, according to new research. Scientists from the University of Exeter and the UK’s Centre of Ecology and Hydrology have developed a new method they claim can more accurately estimate the likely global temperature rise due to greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Their findings have narrowed the previously accepted, fairly wide, range by 60 per cent. Experts at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has forecast warming of between 1.5C and 4.5C if the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide is stabilised at double pre-industrial levels. But the latest study suggests a smaller range of 2.2C to 3.4C, based on analysis of year-on-year temperature fluctuations instead of warming trends to date. So it could be better, but also could be worse – depending on what the world does next.
Scotsman 23rd Jan 2018 read more »