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Scientists have a new, narrower estimate of "climate sensitivity," a measure of how much the climate could warm in response to the release of greenhouse gases.

The new study, published in Nature, refines this estimate to 2.8°C, with a corresponding range of 2.2 to 3.4°C. If correct, the new estimates could reduce the uncertainty surrounding climate sensitivity by 60 percent.

The narrower range suggests that global temperature rise is "going to shoot over 1.5°C" above pre-industrial levels, the lead author told Carbon Brief, but "we might be able to avoid 2°C." Meeting either limit will likely require negative emissions technologies that can remove CO2 from the atmosphere, he said.