A new scientific study published in the journal Nature warns that by the year 2100 global temperatures could rise to the catastrophic level of 7.2 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celcius) unless dramatic action is taken to cut greenhouse gas emissions. The number is double what many governments around the world deem to be dangerous. The reason for the more ominous climate projections has to do with new findings that fewer clouds form as global warming accelerates, increasing temperatures even more.

Image © Jerry Pierce

“This study breaks new ground twice: first by identifying what is controlling the cloud changes and second by strongly discounting the lowest estimates of future global warming in favour of the higher and more damaging estimates,” said lead researcher Steven Sherwood, a professor at the University of New South Wales in Australia. The temperature rise “would likely be catastrophic rather than simply dangerous. For example, it would make life difficult, if not impossible, in much of the tropics, and would guarantee the eventual melting of the Greenland ice sheet and some of the Antarctic ice sheet.”

2013 is drawing to a close, and it was one of the warmest years on record. Scientists from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded in 2013 that they are 95 percent certain that humans are responsible for global warming.

+ Nature Article: Spread in model climate sensitivity traced to atmospheric convective mixing

Via The Guardian

Lead image via Circled Thrice