UK Met, New Mega Report for Great Britain – Four degrees F by 2040, even with strong mitigation measures

By June 18, 2009 February 25th, 2013 Temperature

Summers will be drier and winters wetter with about the same total rainfall. this will create a greater chance of flooding. Total warming for England by 2100 is 7.2 degrees F. above 1990. (The consensus understanding is that 3.6 degrees above pre industrial levels is the maximum limit for the onset of dangerous climate change. The twentieth century saw 1.0 degrees of warming which leaves us with only 2.6 degrees to reach the limit.

For the first time a sea level rise was assumed for a worse case scenario, the new number is 6.2 feet. The UK Met reports that achieving this sea level rise is highly unlikely, but they go on to explain how they derived the estimate. Their reference comes from a paper by Rholing et. al. in 2008 that describes sea level rise during the last interglacial peaked at 1.6 +/- 0.8 meters per century. This means that worst case scenario is 7.9 feet. The last interglacial period was the last time the Earth was in-between ice ages like we are today, and the Earth was as warm, or close to as warm is it is today. Different however, is that the Earth is already as warm or within one or two degrees F as warm as it has been in the last 3 million years. By 2100, the Earth will be warmer than at any time in the last 20 million years.