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Posted Tue Jul 5 2011: from EnvironmentalResearchWeb:
Going beyond the IPCC 'worst case'
In order to see how climate models react over a wide range of greenhouse gas concentrations, researchers in the US have modelled emissions scenarios that are significantly higher than the IPCC's "worst case" scenarios. They found - perhaps unsurprisingly - that the extent of climate change will be significantly worse than for the IPCC's A1FI scenario. "Relative to the A1FI scenario, our highest scenario results in an additional 2 deg C (3.6F) of global mean warming above A1FI levels by 2100, a complete loss of Arctic summer sea ice by 2070 and an additional 43 percent sea level rise due to thermal expansion above A1FI levels by 2100," said Ben Sanderson from the National Center for Atmospheric Research in the US.... The team also assumed that the shares of primary energy derived from different fuel sources remain fixed over time at 2000 levels; that is, the carbon intensity of energy supply is assumed to remain constant. In the second scenario (AllCoal), the researchers make more extreme assumptions. They maintain the A1FI per capita energy projection, but assume population follows the UN high scenario as implemented in the IPCC A2 scenario, reaching 15 billion by 2100. They also make the bounding assumption that all new demand for primary energy is satisfied by coal. "This assumption is not intended to represent a plausible future, but a useful thought experiment that could help inform the exploration of upper bounds on emissions," said Sanderson. "It is astounding, for example, that this combination of assumptions leads to emissions in 2100 that are about four times those in the A1FI scenario, or about 105 gigatonnes of carbon per year."
[Read more stories about: carbon emissions, climate impacts, anthropogenic change, global warming, massive die-off, faster than expected, permafrost meltdown, ocean warming]

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'Doc Jim says:
"Astounding" only if you believe in common sense directing the actions of societies.

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