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Andrew Weaver at the University of Victoria, Granger Morgan of Carnegie Mellon University and Gregg Marland of Appalachian State University agreed with the MIT analysis that holding warming to two degrees now seems unlikely.

“There’s no way to stop it. There’s so much inertia in the system,” Morgan said. “We’ve committed to quite a bit of warming.”

Prinn said new studies predict that if temperatures increase by more than two degrees, the Greenland ice sheets will start an irreversible melting. And that will add to sea level rise significantly.

“Over the next several centuries, Greenland slowly melts away,” Weaver said.

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Online:

World Meteorological Organization’s Greenhouse Gas Bulletin: http://bit.ly/vu04vB

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Annual Greenhouse Gas Index: http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/aggi/