IF ALL FOSSILE FUELS USED, GLOBAL AVERAGE TEMPS IN 2300 TO BE 8 DEGREES C WARMER. 14 IN ARCTIC

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23 may 2016


Crocodiles and Palm Trees in the Arctic? New Report Suggests Yes.


If we keep burning fossil fuels, Earth will be 8 degrees warmer, returning to the climate of 52 million years ago, according to new research. It's the most dire prediction yet.

National Geographic May 23, 2016

In even the bleakest climate change scenarios for the end of this century, science has offered hope that global warming would eventually slow down. But a new study published Monday snuffs out such hope, projecting temperatures that rise lockstep with carbon emissions until the last drops of oil and lumps of coal are used up.

Global temperatures will increase on average by 8 degrees Celsius (14.4 degrees F) over preindustrial levels by 2300 if all of Earth’s fossil fuel resources are burned, adding five trillion metric tons of carbon to the atmosphere, according to the research by Canadian scientists published in Nature Climate Change. In the Arctic, average temperatures would rise by 17 degrees C (30.6 degrees F).

Those conclusions are several degrees warmer than previous studies have projected.

If these temperatures do become reality, greenhouse gases would transform Earth into a place where food is scarce, parts of the world are uninhabitable for humans, and many species of animals and plants are wiped out, experts say.

"It would be as unrecognizable to us as a fully glaciated world," says Myles Allen, head of a climate dynamics group at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. Allen was not involved in the new study, but his research has focused on carbon’s cumulative impacts on climate.

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