Major new climate study rules out less severe global warming scenarios

An analysis finds the most likely range of warming from doubling carbon dioxide to be between 4.1 to 8.1 degrees Fahrenheit

Flames ripped through trees as the Hog Fire jumped Highway 36 about five miles from Susanville, Calif., on Monday. (Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images). (Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images)

The current pace of human-caused carbon emissions is increasingly likely to trigger irreversible damage to the planet, according to a comprehensive international study released Wednesday. Researchers studying one of the most important and vexing topics in climate science — how sensitive the Earth’s climate is to a doubling of the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere — found that warming is extremely unlikely to be on the low end of estimates.

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Andrew Freedman edits and reports on extreme weather and climate science for the Capital Weather Gang. He has covered science, with a specialization in climate research and policy, for Axios, Mashable, Climate Central, E&E Daily and other publications. Follow

 is a Pulitzer Prize winning reporter covering climate change, energy, and the environment. He has reported from the 2015 Paris climate negotiations, the Northwest Passage, and the Greenland ice sheet, among other locations, and has written four books about science, politics and climate change.Follow

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