Increased warming in latest generation of climate models likely caused by clouds
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As scientists work to determine why some of the latest climate models suggest the future could be warmer than previously thought, a new study indicates the reason is likely related to challenges simulating the formation and evolution of clouds.
Compared with older models, a subset of these updated models has shown a higher sensitivity to carbon dioxide -- that is, more warming for a given concentration of the greenhouse gas -though a few showed lower sensitivity as well. The end result is a greater range of model responses than any preceding generation of models, dating back to the early 1990s. If the models on the high end are correct and Earth is truly more sensitive to carbon dioxide than scientists had thought, the future could also be much warmer than previously projected. But it's also possible that the updates made to the models between the last intercomparison project and this one are causing or exposing errors in their results.
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