Jump to content
The Official Site of the Vancouver Canucks
Canucks Community

Norway Data Shows Earth’s Global Warming Less Severe Than Feared


Recommended Posts

Norway Data Shows Earth’s Global Warming Less Severe Than Feared

Jan 27, 2013

New estimates from a Norwegian research project show meeting targets for minimizing global warming may be more achievable than previously thought.

After the planet’s average surface temperature rose through the 1990s, the increase has almost leveled off at the level of 2000, while ocean water temperature has also stabilized, the Research Council of Norway said in a statement on its website. After applying data from the past decade, the results showed temperatures may rise 1.9 degrees Celsius if Co2 levels double by 2050, below the 3 degrees predicted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

“The Earth’s mean temperature rose sharply during the 1990s,” said Terje Berntsen, a professor at the University of Oslo who worked on the study. “This may have caused us to overestimate climate sensitivity.”

The findings also show the effect of reduced airborne particulates from burning coal, which may decrease the cloud cover that cools the earth, probably has less of an impact on climate through indirect cooling than originally projected.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

What has gotten lost in this media frenzy is that the paper is under review and has not been published. All the new articles are based off a press release. It is rather interesting to see how some are quick to embrace this even though no one has even seen the results, or the data that goes into the study.

What is also lost in the media frenzy is that this is one study, whereas the body of knowledge is really the sum of a broad range of evidences.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's a bit of context for the study.

One main measure of the effect of CO2 is called the climate sensitivity, which is how much will the earth warm if we double CO2. The current best estimate is 2.0-4.5 degrees, with the most likely value of 3 degrees, with is from all lines of evidence.

Suppose that the conclusion of the paper holds, a sensitivity of 1.9 degrees will certainly be on the low end, which is good news. However a huge caveat that is left out from most new report is that if the same method is applied to data only up to 1999, the sensitivity is 3.7 degrees.

The authors explained that the difference is likely due to the inflated warming up to 1999 due to natural variability, leading to an overestimation of the sensitivity. However as natural variability lowered warming over the past decade, it is possible that the estimation is biased low.

Another thing that should be stressed is the following excerpt from the press release, which is missing from news reports

Terje Berntsen emphasises that his project's findings must not be construed as an excuse for complacency in addressing human-induced global warming. The results do indicate, however, that it may be more within our reach to achieve global climate targets than previously thought. Regardless, the fight cannot be won without implementing substantial climate measures within the next few years.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...