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After posting my first kos diary a couple of days ago on Climate change will be much worse than you think, I read a recent MIT report that predicts temperature increases this century due to global warming.  The report, Probabilistic Forecast for 21st Century  Climate Based on Uncertainties in Emissions  (without Policy) and Climate Parameters, is an update to a report done in 2003.  Here is the bottom line:
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So, what does this graph say?  It says that in a business-as-usual ("no policy") scenario, there is a 50% chance that the temperature will 5C (9F) or more warmer in 2095 and there is a 95% chance that it will be 3.5C (6.3F) or more warmer in 2095!

Scientists tell us that going past 2C (3.6F) warmer will be disaster.  As I said in my previous post, 2C (3.6F) warming will be really bad, 3C (5.4F) will be biblical, and at 4C (7.2F) and above, we face the possible collapse of agriculture, the economy, and perhaps civilization itself.  It may be "Game Over" at 6C (10.8F) and above.

We can see from the graph that there is a 50% chance we will cross the 2C (3.6F) "danger line" between 2040 and 2050, and there is a 95% chance will will cross it by 2060 or before.

The report states that there wasn't any major items that caused the increase in temperatures between the 2003 and 2009 reports.  Rather, a number of small items had a multiplicative effect instead of additive.  This makes sense when you realize that increases in temperature cause other increases.  For example, a temperature increase caused by melting permafrost will warm the ocean which, in turn, will absorb less CO2 which, in turn, will increase the impact of other releases of CO2.

I hate to say it, but I can't think of any reason why the next report in a few years won't show an even more alarming graph.

You can see more about climate change (including a reading list, links, and news items) at my web site, ClimatePlace.org.

Originally posted to dannym999 on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 12:12 AM PST.

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