Could. If. Might.
Take a look at almost any global warming alarmism story and you are likely to see a plethora of those speculative weasel words. It happens so frequently that your humble correspondent, in his previous global warming story about the "Modoki," labeled a new term incorporating those words: "Couldifmite."
It was my recommendation that a mineral rock be given the name of Couldifmite. Any MSM reporter in the vicinity of of Couldifmite will be subjected to the uncontrollable urge to overload his global warming stories with "could," "if," and "might" along with the related speculative weasel words of "may" and "should." Okay, there probably won't be a rock that would be given that name but it could happen if some geologist out there might have a good sense of humor. See, even I can play the Couldifmite game.
However, Gerard Wynn of Reuters isn't joking. He goes full scale Couldifmite in this latest global warming story. Even the intro to his story is chock full of Couldifmite:
Global temperatures could rise 4 degrees by 2050s
Rainfall may fall by a fifth in many regions
This is only the Couldifmite warmup for the body of the story and Wynn does not disappoint:
LONDON, Sept 28 (Reuters) - Global temperatures may be 4 degrees Celsius hotter by the mid-2050s if current greenhouse gas emissions trends continue, said a study published on Monday.
...Leaders of the main greenhouse gas-emitting countries recognised in July a scientific view that temperatures should not exceed 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels, to avoid more dangerous changes to the world's climate.
...Temperature rises are compared with pre-industrial levels. The world warmed 0.7 degrees last century, scientists say.
Really? So how accurate were measuring instruments at the start of the 20th century to make that assertion? Plus there were still areas of the earth unexplored. Roald Amundsen did not reach the South Pole until 1911 so how were temperature measurements there even made before then? Same is true of the North Pole prior to 1909 yet we are assured that the world warmed 0.7 degrees last century. Not 0.6 or 0.8 degrees but 0.7 degrees state the scientists based on crude measurements at the early part of the century and incorporating large parts of the globe that were not even accessible back then.
A global average increase of 4 degrees masked higher regional increases, including more than 15 degrees warmer temperatures in parts of the Arctic, and up to 10 degrees higher in western and southern Africa, Monday's study found.
Whoa! Stop the music! At the beginning of this article we are told that global average temperature could rise by 4 degrees celsius. Suddenly "could" is dropped and we are presented with this speculative forecast as an absolute fact as if it already happened. Sorry, 2050 is still over 40 years away.
It appears that Gerard Wynn needs another dose of those Couldifmite rays to keep his global warming speculation story in order.