Past warming stronger than predicted by climate models used for short-term forecasting
Comparison of observations of the past with computer simulations suggests that models may underestimate long-term warming and its amplification in polar regions. Katrin Meissner of University of New South Wales, Australia, commented that, "while climate model projections seem to be trustworthy when considering relatively small changes over the next decades, it is worrisome that these models likely underestimate climate change under higher emission scenarios, such as a ‘business as usual’ scenario, and especially over longer time scales." According to the researchers, this information from the past underscores the urgency of reducing CO2 emissions soon to meet the Paris Agreements in this century and beyond.
PAGES and Warmer Worlds
The publication in Nature Geoscience is a result of the Past Global Changes (PAGES; https://pastglobalchanges.org) integrated activity "Warmer Worlds" that uses paleoclimate evidence to assess a future warming. To this end the Warmer Worlds activity assembled about 50 renowned international researchers in April 2017 for a workshop in Bern, Switzerland funded by PAGES and the Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research of the University of Bern. The publication is the outcome of this expert assessment. The Warmer Worlds activity is coordinated by Hubertus Fischer (University of Bern), Katrin Meissner (University of New South Wales, Sydney) and Alan Mix (Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR). PAGES, a network funded jointly by the US and Swiss National Science Foundations, is a core project of the global sustainability program Future Earth (http://www.futureearth.org) and has the goal to coordinate and promote past global change research.