October 10th, 2013

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New Climate Analysis Says Heat is Going to Get Serious

They're predicting that in most parts of the world the new "average" will be warmer than the previous "hot" (exceeds bounds of historical variability), beginning between 2033 and 2061 (global average 2047 if we keep going the way we are). Local variations are expected. Tropical regions should get uncomfortable before elsewhere. Even a serious effort to stabilize spiraling greenhouse gas emissions will only stave off these changes until around 2069. The study was published in Nature and included 39 different models from 21 teams in 12 countries, which surprisingly all pretty much agreed.

'Uncomfortable' climates to devastate cities within a decade, study says, John Roach NBC News

Study Abstract
Ecological and societal disruptions by modern climate change are critically determined by the time frame over which climates shift beyond historical analogues. Here we present a new index of the year when the projected mean climate of a given location moves to a state continuously outside the bounds of historical variability under alternative greenhouse gas emissions scenarios. Using 1860 to 2005 as the historical period, this index has a global mean of 2069 (±18 years s.d.) for near-surface air temperature under an emissions stabilization scenario and 2047 (±14 years s.d.) under a ‘business-as-usual’ scenario. Unprecedented climates will occur earliest in the tropics and among low-income countries, highlighting the vulnerability of global biodiversity and the limited governmental capacity to respond to the impacts of climate change. Our findings shed light on the urgency of mitigating greenhouse gas emissions if climates potentially harmful to biodiversity and society are to be prevented.