Nasa’s Projections on Global Warming

Margherita Olivo
December 1st 2015

Researchers at Nasa's Center for Climate Simulation (NCCS) in Maryland can deploy a supercomputer called the "Discover". This unique data processor and calculator can take months to come up with a climate prediction, using programs that have 1 million lines of code, or even more. Everything is in a windowless huge room, packed with linked computers and wires.

The services of the National Climate Centre for Climate Services (NCCS) help the authorities, the political and economic world and society to recognize risks related to climate. This reduces the risks, seize opportunities and optimize costs. The foundation provided by the NCCS and several specialized services help to deal with this issue in an appropriate way in the future, taking into account climate change.

Thanks to this supercomputer Nasa was able to come up with a detailed prediction, that has been transformed into a very intuitive video.

Gavin Schmidt is the director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City. In his interview with NPR he declares: "We can go and measure how much sunlight reflects off the sea ice, we can go and measure how much water you need to have in the air before you form a cloud. You can go and measure how the winds affect the ocean currents, right? Those are physical processes that we've been observing for hundreds of years. A climate model encapsulates each of those processes, the ones that we think of as being important, and it links them all together".

The predictions won't be exactly perfect in their results, but they can give a pretty clear vision of what we're going for if we keep (or increase) this level of greenhouse gas emissions. "You're looking at a situation where there's very little ice left in the Arctic; you are looking at temperature changes on land that are the equivalent of, you know, moving south by about a couple thousand miles. The climate of New York would have the climate of Miami". says Schmidt.

The COP21, also known as the 2015 Paris Climate Conference, started yesterday and will go on until the 11th of December. The aim of the event is to achieve an essential and irrevocable agreements on climate. While leaders and experts from around the globe discuss and focus on reaching an accord, researchers try to predict with exactness how our planet will look like if we keep this level of CO2 emissions in the atmosphere.

Nasa's projections look frightening, but hopefully they will be useful to achieve game-changing agreements during this Paris conference.

Source: NPR. Image: NASA

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