by David Spratt
Reading the media reporting of a new scientific paper released on 22 July, it was easy to get the impression that some “worse-case” climate warming possibilities are now off the agenda. “So this is good news?” a friend emailed. “No” was my answer.
It would be a grave mistake, and an illustration of how media reporting can get complex climate stories wrong, to find good news in this research.
The research in question is “An assessment of Earth’s climate sensitivity using multiple lines of evidence”. Climate sensitivity is the amount of warming to be expected from a doubling of the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report found the range was 1.5 to 4.5 degrees Celsius (°C).