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.