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Global warming may be twice as bad as previously expected

Source:  Copyright 2009, USA Today
Date:  May 21, 2009
Byline:  Doyle Rice
Original URL: Status ONLINE


Global warming will be twice as severe as previous estimates indicate, according to a new study published this month in the Journal of Climate, a publication of the American Meteorological Society.

The research, conducted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), predicts a 90% probability that worldwide surface temperatures will rise more than 9 degrees (F) by 2100, compared to a previous 2003 MIT study that forecast a rise of just over 4 degrees.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 2007 forecast a temperature rise of anywhere from 2 to 11 degrees by 2100 based on a variety of different greenhouse-gas-emissions scenarios.

The projections in the MIT study were done using 400 applications of a computer model, which MIT says is the most comprehensive and sophisticated climate model to date. The model looks at the effects of economic activity as well as the effects of atmospheric, oceanic and biological systems.

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