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Climate change poses less of an immediate threat to the planet than previously thought because scientists got their modelling wrong, a new study has found. New research by British scientists reveals the world is being polluted and warming up less quickly than 10-year-old forecasts predicted, giving countries more time to get a grip on their carbon output.
According to the models used to draw up the agreement, the world ought now to be 1.3 degrees above the mid-19th-Century average, whereas the most recent observations suggest it is actually between 0.9 to 1 degree above.
"We’re in the midst of an energy revolution and it’s happening faster than we thought" Professor Michael Grubb, University College London
The discrepancy means nations could continue emitting carbon dioxide at the current rate for another 20 years before the target was breached, instead of the three to five predicted by the previous model.
1) We have known for several years that the climate models have been running far too hot.
This rather belated admission is welcome, but a cynic would wonder why it was not made before Paris.
2) I suspect part of the motivation is to keep Paris on track. Most observers, including even James Hansen, have realised that it was not worth the paper it was written on.
This new study is designed to restore the belief that the original climate targets can be achieved, via Paris and beyond.
3) Although they talk of the difference between 0.9C and 1.3C, the significance is much greater.
Making the reasonable assumption that a significant part of the warming since the mid 19thC is natural, this means that any AGW signal is much less than previously thought.
4) Given that they now admit they have got it so wrong, why should we be expected to have any faith at all in the models?
5) Finally, we must remember that temperatures since 2000 have been artificially raised by the recent record El Nino, and the ongoing warm phase of the AMO.