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Worst-case climate change scenario could be more extreme than thought, scientists warn

Economic growth could prompt greater greenhouse gas emissions than previously forecast, study says, Independent UK Harry Cockburn , 18 May 18

Scientists may have to recalibrate their projections of what a “worst case” climate change scenario is, as new studies take into account greater global economic growth than previously forecast.

Climate scientists forecasting how the earth’s climate will change over time examine trends in greenhouse gas emissions, which are largely dependent on how the global economy behaves. As countries get richer, the amount they consume goes up, and so too do greenhouse gas emissions.

Scientists use four scenarios called representative concentration pathways (RCPs) that attempt to depict possible futures for our planet.

  • The standard worst case scenario, RCP 8.5, assumes rapid and unrestricted economic growth which will see rampant burning of fossil fuels. In addition, it also assumes no further action will be taken to limit warming than the policies countries are already pursuing.

    However, scientists at the University of Illinois say there is a one-in-three chance that by the end of the century emissions will have exceeded those estimated in the RCP 8.5 scenario.

    “Our estimates indicate that, due to higher than assumed economic growth rates, there is a greater than 35 per cent probability that year 2100 emissions concentrations will exceed those given by RCP8.5,” Peter Christensen told the New Scientist.

    Glen Peters of the Centre for International Climate Research in Norway points to the rise in carbon emissions in Europe over the past four years as economic growth has sped up. In 2017, EU emissions rose by 1.8 per cent……..https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change-model-scenario-rcp85-global-warming-illinios-study-a8353346.html

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May 19, 2018 - Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change

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