Global leaders and scientists have agreed that keeping global warming to within 2°C of pre-industrial temperatures represents a safe level of climate change.
NASA’s former climate chief has issued a stark new study that finds that the world’s current climate goal could be inadequate and may not prevent catastrophic losses from rising seas, ocean temperatures and changes in global weather. But the extreme nature of his projections has some scientists questioning the methods he used and the results he reached.
Global leaders and scientists have agreed that keeping global warming towithin 2°Cof pre-industrial temperatures represents a safe level of climate change. The new findings, published as a discussion paper in the European Geophysical Union’sAtmospheric Chemistry and Physicsjournal, indicate something else. They show that 2°C of warming could lead to runaway ice melt at the poles, causing sea level rise and ocean circulation changes by 2100 that are much more extreme than most current projections.
The new study says that limiting warming to 2°C “does not provide safety, as such warming would likely yield sea level rise of several meters along with numerous other severely disruptive consequences for human society and ecosystems.”