Climate Science Dials Back the ‘Worst Case Scenario’

By Anthony Watts – Re-Blogged From WUWT

A surprising comment published January 29th in the leading scientific journal Nature said; “Emissions – the ‘business as usual’ story is misleading – Stop using the worst-case scenario for climate warming as the most likely outcome — more-realistic baselines make for better policy.” This has thrown a monkey wrench in hundreds of studies and media stories that previously predicted dire climate consequences in the future due to increased carbon dioxide (CO2) in our atmosphere.

The consequences were predicted by a computer model called Representative Carbon Pathways (RCP) and the worst case scenario model, RCP8.5 had been cited over 2500 times in scientific journals and in hundreds of media stories as the primary need for “urgent action” on climate. Predictions from RCP8.5 model suggested maximum global temperature increases of nearly 6°C (10.8°F) by the year 2100, shown in Figure 1.

clip_image002Figure 1 – Image Credit: Neil Craik, University of Waterloo

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