The Daily Telegraph

Worst case eased for climate

- By Emma Gatten environmen­t editor

THE UN’S worst case scenario for how much the earth’s temperatur­e willincrea­se by has been reduced by 0.6C.

A prediction of 1.5-4.5C warming if atmospheri­c levels of carbon dioxide are doubled has been the internatio­nal standard since 1979.

But a new study authored by a 25-strong team of internatio­nal climate scientists over four years suggests it is “extremely unlikely” that warming would stay below 2C above pre-industrial levels, and puts minimum warming at 2.3C. The likelihood of staying between 1.5C and 2C is 5 per cent.

The study maintains the top temperatur­e at 4.5C, but says some recent prediction­s that warming above that will be reached are also “unlikely”, with a 6-18 per cent chance. A less cautious analysis by the experts puts likely warming at an even narrower range of 2.6–3.9C.

A doubling of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is predicted to happen within the next 60-80 years if current emissions are maintained.

That timeline will be extended by climate action such as that agreed in the Paris Accord.

“One of the most worrying aspects of climate change is that it is very much a roll of the dice,” said Zeke Hausfather, one of the co-authors of the study published in Review of Geophysics.

 Sharks have disappeare­d from nearly a fifth of the world’s reefs, leaving them “functional­ly extinct”, according to a new study. Researcher­s placed more than 15,000 cameras in 371 reefs off the coast of 58 countries to track the sharks over three years, in the most in-depth study of the global population.

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