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"Five-alarm fire": Range of global warming scenarios is more severe than thought, study shows

The Earth's average global temperature will likely warm anywhere from 4.1°F to 8.1°F (or 2.3°C to 4.5°C) if deforestation and the burning of fossil fuels continue at the current rate, the Washington Post reports, citing a major new study.

Why it matters: The best-case scenario of this estimate exceeds the previous minimum range first established in a 1979 report, which expected the planet to warm between 2.7°F and 8.1°F (1.5°C to 4.5°C) if the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere were to double. The world is on track to hit that milestone within roughly the next 50 years, according the Post.

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