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Posted Mon Dec 21 2009: from Yale University, via EurekAlert:
Global temperatures could rise more than expected, new study shows
The kinds of increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide taking place today could have a significantly larger effect on global temperatures than previously thought, according to a new study led by Yale University geologists. Their findings appear December 20 in the advanced online edition of Nature Geoscience.... Their reconstructed CO2 concentrations for the past five million years was used to estimate Earth-system climate sensitivity for a fully equilibrated state of the planet, and found that a relatively small rise in CO2 levels was associated with substantial global warming 4.5 million years ago. They also found that the global temperature was 2 to 3 degrees Celsius higher than today while CO2 levels were only between about 365 and 415 parts per million (ppm) -- similar to today's concentration of about 386 ppm.... "Since there is no indication that the future will behave differently than the past, we should expect a couple of degrees of continued warming even if we held CO2 concentrations at the current level."
[Read more stories about: carbon emissions, death spiral, global warming, faster than expected]

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