Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Global warming could be twice as bad as forecast
WASHINGTON, May 19 (Reuters) - Global warming's effects this century could be twice as extreme as estimated just six years ago, scientists reported on Tuesday.
Earth's median surface temperature could rise 9.3 degrees F (5.2 degrees C) by 2100, the scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found, compared to a 2003 study that projected a median temperature increase of 4.3 degrees F (2.4 degrees C).
The new study, published in the American Meteorological Society's Journal of Climate, said the difference in projection was due to improved economic modeling and newer economic data than in previous scenarios.
Earlier climate warming may also have been masked by the global cooling effect of 20th-century volcanoes and by the emission of soot, which can add to warming, the scientists said in a statement.
To reach their conclusions, the MIT team used computer simulations that took world economic activity as well as climate processes into account, they said in a statement. More >>>