Most Accurate Climate Models Point to More Global Warming

THURSDAY, Nov. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Climate model projections that show a greater rise in overall worldwide temperature due to global warming are more accurate than those predicting a smaller rise, according to a new study.

The findings, from an analysis by scientists at the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research, could provide a breakthrough in efforts to narrow the range of global warming expected in coming decades and beyond.

The researchers analyzed how well sophisticated climate models reproduce observed relative humidity in the tropical and subtropical areas of the world. The models that proved most accurate were also the ones that showed the greatest global temperature increases associated with climate change caused by human emissions of greenhouse gases.

The study, which appears Nov. 8 in the journal Science, was funded by NASA.

"There is a striking relationship between how well climate models simulate relative humidity in key areas and how much warming they show in response to increasing carbon dioxide," study co-author John Fasullo said in a National Center for Atmospheric Research news release.

"Given how fundamental these processes are to clouds and the overall global climate, our findings indicate that warming is likely to be on the high side of current projections," he said.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention outlines the health effects of climate change.

SOURCE: U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research, news release, Nov. 8, 2012

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