How do scientists predict future climate change?
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Over 100 years ago scientists began making climate predictions using basic physics. Gradually their methods have become more detailed. Today they include the use of sophisticated computer models to simulate the Earth’s climate system, as well as the use of climate proxies such as tree rings and ice cores, to provide information about the Earth’s climate long ago. The insights from these different approaches show that increasing levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere lead to a rise in global surface temperature. There are uncertainties, but if greenhouse gas emissions keep rising at the current rate, scientists predict a likely temperature rise of between 2 and 6 °C by 2100.