"What frightens me about the climate crisis is we don’t know how bad things really are"
KNOWN UNKNOWNS: Researchers have made a painful confession - even their most sophisticated models can’t yet foresee exactly how Earth systems will respond to higher temperatures, writes environment analyst and former BBC correspondent Roger Harrabin, from The Guardian.
The models aren't able to warn accurately about the emergence of the heat trapped deep in the ocean, which soaks up 90% of the world’s excess warmth.
"Major uncertainties remain, too, over rainfall," Harrabine writes in The Guardian. "Good information about the future of monsoon rain would be a godsend for farmers who rely upon it – not just in India but in southern China. Unfortunately, good information on precipitation is proving a bit tricky to find."
The macro models also failed to project the effect of current elevated temperatures on ice at both poles.
"As the barrage of bad news continues, all we can be certain of is that there are many climate surprises lying ahead of us. Governments, companies and individuals need to urgently squeeze down emissions to insulate ourselves as far as possible from what we may face," says the author.
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