The trend for the past several years has been to take as much action as possible to reduce carbon-based emissions, particularly carbon dioxide (CO2), in an effort to trim the effects of global warming. A report by the University Herald cites a study by the University of New South Wales (granted, its name and date of publication have not been revealed), which affirms that we have reason to worry about global temperature trends, predicting that the mean temperature of the earth will rise by four degrees Celsius by 2100. A further prediction in the study suggests that this trend will double by 2200.
According to the report, the UNSW study shows that less clouds are formed when the planet is warmer, creating a snowball effect.
Professor Steven Sherwood said in a press release that the estimates of global temperature rise resulting from a doubling of CO2 have ranged historically from 1.5 degrees to 5 degrees Celsius. “When the processes are correct in the climate models, the level of climate sensitivity is far higher,” he said.
The mileage of this study may vary, especially since we don't know what methodology it has applied. There are, for example, several other variables that affect temperatures.
Ice core samples have demonstrated that CO2 levels were much higher at other points in Earth's history than what we see today. However, the historical temperatures did not coincide with what would be expected should we apply the same reasoning behind today's climate models. This leads to a conclusion that many other factors may affect the changes in climate that we have been seeing over the last few decades.
Should this study be correct (there is no reason so far to think that it isn't, despite the little information we have about it), one must also take into consideration how much of this temperature change is actually anthropogenic. A growing number of studies have surfaced that question whether the trend in global temperatures has anthropogenic roots.
Either way, it remains to be seen whether a refutation will appear, or if others can reproduce the effects predicted by this study. Methodology needs to be taken into consideration when analyzing climate models.
Edited by Cassandra Tucker