New Warmer Worlds paper

ww fig 18A Nature Geoscience paper released today by members of PAGES Warmer Worlds Integrative Activity stresses the urgency of reducing CO2 emissions to avert major environmental damages.

The study - led by Hubertus Fischer, Katrin Meissner and Alan Mix, with a group of almost 60 scientists from 17 countries - compiled evidence from the past to review the response of different components of the Earth System (such as marine and terrestrial ecosystems, ice sheets, sea ice etc) on a warming in various regions of the globe similar to what is expected for a maximum 1.5-2°C global warming as agreed upon in the Paris Agreement.

The results suggest that, even with global warming limited to within 2°C above preindustrial levels aimed for in the Paris Agreement, climate zones and ecosystems will shift poleward or to higher altitudes, rapid polar warming may release significant additional greenhouse gases, and sea-level will rise by several meters over several thousand years.
 
Comparison of observations of the past with simulations suggests that climate models may underestimate long-term warming and its amplification in polar regions. "While climate model projections seem to be trustworthy when considering relatively small changes over the next decades, it is worrisome that these models likely underestimate climate change under higher emission scenarios, such as a 'business as usual' scenario, and especially over longer time scales," Meissner said.

Read the paper, which was the outcome of a workshop held April 2017 in Bern, Switzerland, here.

Read the accompanying University of Bern press release in English or German.

Read the accompanying Australian Research Council's Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes press release in English.

Watch the Swiss SRF Tageschau news story (in German) from Monday 25 June 2018, with an interview with Hubertus Fischer, here.

Listen to an interview (in French) by Swiss RTS from Wednesday 27 June 2018, with co-author Katrin Meissner and PAGES Executie Director Marie-France Loutre, here.