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Climate projections underestimate CO2 impact
Date:12/10/2009

" said Dr. Dan Lunt, who is with the University of Bristol and was the lead author of this article. "This comprehensive outlook allows us to see how sensitive the climate really is to atmospheric carbon dioxide, resulting in more accurate long-term projections."

"This research also emphasizes the importance of examining the past and acquiring real data to understand Earth's climate system," said USGS scientist Harry Dowsett. "Our research on the mid-Pliocene is the most comprehensive global reconstruction for any warm period, and scientists did so by examining fossils to determine sea surface and deepwater ocean temperatures, vegetation, sea ice extent, and other environmental characteristics during that timeframe."

Global average temperatures during the mid-Pliocene were about 3C (5.5F) greater than today and within the range projected for the 21st century by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Therefore it may be one of the closest analogs in helping to understand Earth's current and future conditions.


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Contact: Jessica Robertson
jrobertson@usgs.gov
703-648-6624
United States Geological Survey
Source:Eurekalert

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