A new computer model suggests there may be a place to hide out from the "greenhouse effect" that scientists predict will warm the globe in the next few decades.
It's called the Southern Hemisphere.If the new model is correct, there won't be any warming south of the equator over the next 200 years, a scientist told an environmental conference here Tuesday.
Researchers working for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have programmed a powerful computer to predict trends in climate over the next two centuries, based on a new set of assumptions about the human-produced gases that warm the atmosphere.
The computer's predictions for the Northern Hemisphere were pretty much in line with what past computer models have projected: an average increase of several degrees Fahrenheit over current temperatures by the middle of the 21st century.
But south of the equator the model gave them a major surprise: Most of the Southern Hemisphere failed to warm at all.
"The Southern Hemisphere doesn't heat up" in the new model, said Jerry Mahlman, director of NOAA's Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory in Princeton, N.J. "It tells me that we have to be careful about the probability that regional changes will occur that we haven't predicted."
Mahlman revealed the model's results Tuesday at a forum on global environmental change sponsored by the National Academy of Sciences, the Smithsonian Institution and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.