Researchers say sea levels could also rise by six metres or more even if 2 degree target of Paris accord met
Lisa CoxThu 5 Jul 2018 19.00 BST
Temperature rises as a result of global warming could eventually be double what has been projected by climate models, according to an international team of researchers from 17 countries.
Sea levels could also rise by six metres or more even if the world does meet the 2 degree target of the Paris accord.
The findings, published last week in Nature Geoscience, were based on observations of evidence from three warm periods in the past 3.5m years in which global temperatures were 0.5-2 degrees above the pre-industrial temperatures of the 19th century.
The researchers say they increase the urgency with which countries need to address their emissions.
The scientists used a range of measurements to piece together the impacts of past climatic changes to examine how a warmer earth would appear once the climate has stabilised.
They found sustained warming of one to two degrees had been accompanied by substantial reductions of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets and sea level rises of at least six metres – several metres higher than what current climate models predict could occur by 2100.