But not so soon, as the Washington Post gets around to admitting that the global warming problem isn't as bad as they've been screaming all along. New climate change calculations could buy the Earth some time — if they’re right
A group of prominent scientists on Monday created a potential whiplash moment for climate policy, suggesting that humanity could have considerably more time than previously thought to avoid a “dangerous” level of global warming.
The upward revision to the planet’s influential “carbon budget” was published by a number of researchers who have been deeply involved in studying the concept, making it all the more unexpected. But other outside researchers raised questions about the work, leaving it unclear whether the new analysis — which, if correct, would have very large implications — will stick.
In a study published in the journal Nature Geoscience, a team of 10 researchers, led by Richard Millar of the University of Oxford, recalculated the carbon budget for limiting the Earth’s warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above temperatures seen in the late 19th century. It had been widely assumed that this stringent target would prove unachievable — but the new study would appear to give us much more time to get our act together if we want to stay below it.
“What this paper means is that keeping warming to 1.5 degrees C still remains a geophysical possibility, contrary to quite widespread belief,” Millar said in a news briefing. He conducted the research with scientists from Britain, Canada, New Zealand, Austria, Switzerland and Norway.I thought the science was settled?
But the new calculation diverged so much from what had gone before that other experts were still trying to figure out what to make of it.
“When it’s such a substantial difference, you really need to sit back and ponder what that actually means,” Glen Peters, an expert on climate and emissions trajectories at the Center for International Climate Research in Oslo, said of the paper. He was not involved in the research.
The recalculation emerges, said study co-author Joeri Rogelj of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Austria, because warming has been somewhat less than forecast by climate models — and because emissions have been somewhat more than expected.So more emissions, and less warming than projected? Whoda thunk? Oh yeah, a whole bunch of people widely ignored.
All this, of course, just primes them for more claims of "you have to