MIT and the realities of climate change


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MIT and the realities of climate change: a new model shows a warming twice as fast as initially expected

MIT has released the results of its latest climate model to estimate the rate of warming of the surface temperature of the earth. In order to assess levels of risk according to different policy scenarios, the model developed by the MIT includes a large number of economic variables. If no regulation of GHG is emitted at the international level, the MIT researchers believe the rate of warming of the earth two times higher in 2003 than initially calculated.

Published this month in the journal of the American Meteorological Society, these results show a warming of surface temperature by an average 5.2 ° C by 2100 (90% chance that the temperature increase is between 3.5 and 7.4 °) in the context of a lack of regulation of greenhouse gases while the studies in 2003 announced an increase of 2.4 ° C. This difference is explained by taking into account several factors such as improving the business model and increasing the quantity and accuracy of available data. Including scenarios for greenhouse gas regulation, the results estimate an average increase in temperature of 2.5 ° C (two-thirds chance that the increase is between 2 and 3 ° C). The modeling results are presented in graphical form on the website of MIT (see web link: http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2009/roulette-1-enlarged.html).

Developed under the program "Science and Policy of Global Change" at MIT, funded in part by the DoE (Department of Energy), this model has the characteristic of being coupled with a detailed economic model, taking into account economic growth of different countries as well as their energy policy. To assess the probability of occurrence of each scenario, researchers Andrei Sokolov and Ronald Prinn model used 400 times by changing each time a variable different. Each test model represents a scenario of climate change. The results of these scenarios has subsequently been analyzed by different research group to determine their probability of occurrence.

While research in this area have been conducted in other organizations based on analysis of climatic parameters and their natural variability, the model of MIT is so far the only one to include a detailed analysis of changes in human behavior and their impact on biomass and fluid envelopes of the earth (oceans, rivers, air masses). Taken together, these findings underscore the urgent need for action in the field of regulation. The researchers hope to provide assistance to policymakers in this week discussing the bill "Climate bill '(to regulate GHG emissions in the United States) proposed by Representatives Markey and Waxmann.

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