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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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.

The big picture: 25 researchers in a four-year study — published in the Reviews of Geophysics journal Wednesday — found a 95% chance that doubling the amount of atmospheric CO2 would have dangerous ramifications, including intolerable heat waves and "disruptive" sea-level rise, according to the Post.

Details: The researchers used data from instrument records, paleoclimate records from ice cores and coral reefs that helped gauge prehistoric temperatures, and satellite observations to reach their findings, the Post's Andrew Freedman and Chris Mooney report.

The bottom line: It now appears "extremely unlikely" that Earth's global climate sensitivity "could be low enough to avoid substantial climate change" if carbon emissions continue unabated, according to the researchers.

Go deeper: 10 ways coronavirus is changing energy and climate change

Go deeper

Amy Harder, author of Generate
Oct 30, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Oil group CEO on France blocking LNG deal: "We take great umbrage"

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The CEO of the American Petroleum Institute criticized the French government’s move blocking a $7 billion deal to import U.S. liquefied natural gas over concerns about climate change.

Why it matters: The tension reflects intercontinental division over how aggressively governments and companies should tackle global warming, including the potent greenhouse gas methane that’s the primary component of gas.

45 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Trump revokes ethics order barring former aides from lobbying

Photo: Spencer Platt via Getty

Shortly after pardoning members of Congress and lobbyists convicted on corruption charges, President Trump revoked an executive order barring former officials from lobbying for five years after leaving his administration.

Why it matters: The order, which was signed eight days after he took office, was an attempt to fulfill his campaign promise to “drain the swamp.”

  • But with less than 12 hours left in office, Trump has now removed those limitations on his own aides.

Trump pardons former fundraiser Elliott Broidy

President Trump has pardoned Elliott Broidy, a former top Republican fundraiser who pleaded guilty late last year to conspiring to violate foreign lobbying laws as part of a campaign to sway the administration on behalf of Chinese and Malaysian interests.

Why it matters: Broidy was a deputy finance chair for the Republican National Committee early in Trump’s presidency, and attempted to leverage his influence in the Trump administration on behalf of his clients. The president's decision to pardon Broidy represents one last favor for a prominent political ally.

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