The worst impacts of climate change can still be avoided, senior scientists have said after revising their previous predictions. The world has warmed more slowly than had been forecast by computer models, which were “on the hot side” and overstated the impact of emissions, a new study has found. Its projections suggest that the world has a better chance than previously claimed of meeting the goal set by the Paris agreement on climate change to limit warming to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels. The study, published in the journal Nature Geoscience, makes clear that rapid reductions in emissions will still be required but suggests that the world has more time to make the changes. Michael Grubb, professor of international ene rgy and climate change at University College London and one of the study’s authors, admitted that his past prediction had been wrong. He stated during the climate summit in Paris in December 2015: “All the evidence from the past 15 years leads me to conclude that actually delivering 1.5C is simply incompatible with democracy.” Professor Grubb told The Times yesterday: “When the facts change, I change my mind, as [John Maynard] Keynes said. It’s still likely to be very difficult to achieve these kind of changes quickly enough but we are in a better place than I thought.” The latest study found that a group of computer models used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change had predicted a more rapid temperature increase than had taken place. Global average temperature has risen by about 0.9C since pre-industrial times but there was a slowdown in the rate of warming for 15 years before 2014.
Times 19th Sept 2017 read more »
The highly ambitious aim of limiting global warming to less than 1.5C remains in reach, a new scientific analysis shows. The 1.5C target was set as an aspiration by the global Paris climate change deal in 2015 to limit the damage wreaked by extreme weather and sea level rise. It was widely seen as impossible because analysis at the time indicated it required carbon emissions to fall to zero within seven years, a speed deemed “incompatible with democracy” by one climate economist. However, an updated analysis using the latest data shows the global carbon emi ssions budget that meets the 1.5C goal is significantly bigger than thought, equivalent to 20 years of current annual emissions. The scale of the challenge remains huge but it means that, if the world’s nations ratchet up their emissions cuts in future as intended under the Paris deal, the expected “severe, widespread, and irreversible impacts” on people and the natural world could be avoided. “It is looking more hopeful that we can really achieve the Paris goals,” said Prof Michael Grubb, a climate economist at University College London and one of the team that produced the new analysis published in the journal Nature Geoscience. In 2015, Grubb said the massive scale and speed of carbon cuts needed to meet the 1.5C target were “incompatible with democracy”.
Guardian 18th Sept 2017 read more »
The Paris Agreement set a long-term goal of limiting global warming to “well-below” 2C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to restrict it to 1.5C. A key question for the upcoming rounds of the international climate negotiations, particularly when countries review their climate commitments next year, is exactly how fast would we have to cut emissions to reach these goals? In a new paper, published in Nature Geoscience, we provide updated estimates of the remaining “carbon budget” for 1.5C. This is the total amount of CO2 emissions that we can still emit whilst limiting global average warming to 1.5C.
Carbon Brief 18th Sept 2017 read more »