Estimates of Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity

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The quantity known as equilibrium climate sensitivity is crucial for understanding Earth's future [1], and ongoing uncertainty about its value makes it harder to adequately prepare for the long-term effects of climate change[2]. This key parameter enumerates the increase in Earth's average surface  that would occur if atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations were doubled and the climate system was given enough time to reach an equilibrium state. More than 150 estimates of equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) have been published[3], many of which suggest that worryingly high sensitivities are possible - including one that was published in Nature just a few weeks ago[4]. On page 319, Cox et al.[5] use an ingenious approach to rule out high estimates. If correct, this would improve the chances of achieving internationally agreed targets for minimizing global warming.
Source: Nature
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