Gone to Speed
Globe will warm faster than predicted, new studies say
Global warming won’t be as bad as we thought, says new research — it’ll be worse. Two separate climate-change studies factored in increased carbon dioxide released from warming soil, forests, and oceans, and came up with similar results: current climate models may underestimate warming by 15 to 78 percent. Yippee! The two groups, one from the U.S. and one from Europe, used different methods and focused on different time periods, yet produced concurrent data. Both groups admit that ecosystems in the current era of deforestation and rampant fertilizer use may act differently from the ecosystems from which their data is drawn, but say that if anything, their predictions are conservative. Said researcher Margaret Torn, “To predict the future you have to guess how much carbon dioxide levels will go up. That depends on the biggest uncertainty of all, what humans do.” That’s pretty much the opposite of comforting.