More Heat

   

Scientists' current best estimates are that climate change will warm Earth's average temperature by 3.5 to 7.2°F by the end of this century, compared to 1980-1999 temperatures. This range of projected tempertures depends on how much we do to reduce human emissions of heat-trapping gases. The figure below, taken from a 2001 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, shows how future temperature increases depend on future emissions, shown here as "A1F1," "A1B," and so on.

  Warming of a few degrees might not sound like much. But the mid-range of the current best estimates, a 5.3°F increase, is enough to make:
  • Aspen as warm as Flagstaff now is.
  • Missoula as warm as Denver now is.
  • Reno as warm as Albuquerque now is.
         

Projections for Temperature Increases, 1990-2100

 
Source: Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (2001).  
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