The study uses climate models based on intricate computing. The model is called the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (version 2.1), sophisticated software developed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that tries to replicate, as simply as possible, the planet's complex climate.
The model breaks down the world into a three-dimensional grid, with each cube describing natural phenomena within it using mathematical equations. They include numerical representations for the atmosphere, the land, the ocean and sea ice, and equations say how they relate to each other. A supercomputer crunches away at the numbers and ultimately reveals the pace of warming every time carbon dioxide doubles in the atmosphere.
ANALYSIS: Still No Support for Global Warming ‘Slowdown'
It's a experiment used widely by climate modelers, including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in its massive report to be unveiled on September 27.
The IPCC currently states that the global temperatures will rise by between 2 and 4.5 degrees Celsius when carbon dioxide in the atmosphere doubles. But given that global temperatures have not risen since 1998, some have suggested that temperatures will be at the lower part of the range. That would be good news for humans because it would give us a bit more time to deal with the climate problem.