The 2015 Paris agreement’s ambitious goal of limiting global warming to 1.5C remains within reach, a study suggests. The study is one of several to address the “carbon budget”, which – among other things – determines how much CO2 the planet can emit and still reach a given limit for global warming. It indicates the 2015 target, perceived by some as tough, could be met with very stringent emissions cuts. It used computer models that project climate behaviour into the future. The aim of the Paris deal was “holding the increase in global average temperature to well below 2C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit temperature increase to 1.5C.” But scientists admit they were taken by surprise by the ambition of the 1.5C figure.
BBC 19th Sept 2017 read more »
Letters including from Lord Krebs: Three conclusions can be drawn from the new study suggesting that the world may be warming more slowly than previously thought. First, if the results are substantiated, we may have a few more decades in which to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and avert potentially dangerous climate change. Second, although the basic physics and chemistry of climate change are well understood, there are, as climate scientists have always said, uncertainties in predicting the precise pace and magnitude of global warming. Climate models will continue to be refined and the projections may change as a result. Third, the results do not cast any doubt on the reality of global warming or the need to reduce our carbon footprint as fast as possible to secure the future of the planet for our grandchildren.
Times 20th Sept 2017 read more »
Letter: Graham Stringer, MP (Lab) Member, science and technology committee, House of Commons. The real catastrophe is that my constituents, some of the poorest in the country, are paying the price for this arrogance when they receive energy bills inflated by unnecessary green supplements.
Times 20th Sept 2017 read more »
For a section of the right-wing media, it was too good to miss, an opportunity to cast doubt on one of their favourite bugbears – climate change. A scientific study had estimated that there would still be a reasonable chance of restricting global warming to 1.5C by the end of the century even if humans used the equivalent of current fossil fuel consumption for 20 years. The lead scientist involved in the research, Dr Richard Millar of Oxford University, in an article on the Carbon Brief website said this “update” on earlier estimates suggested that “we have a little more breathing space than previously thought” to achieve the target to avoid dangerous global warming adopted by the Paris Agreement. But some found a rather different message in the paper in the journal Nature Geoscience. “Fear of global warming is exaggerated, say scientists,” screamed an article on Mail Online. And the Conservative MP David Davies – not to be confused with Brexit Secretary David Davis – tweeted: “World’s scientists now being forced to admit they were wrong and sceptics like the Global Warming Policy Foundation were right all along.” He actually included a link to The Independent’s story, although his remark was very much his own spin on the subject and not reflected in the article. “Climate models are ‘wrong,'” proclaimed the Telegraph on its front page. And The Times’ front page had scientists “admitting” that the “world is warming slower than predicted”. Curiously the Mail Online also published another article about the same research with a headline much more in keeping with the paper. “We CAN meet ambitious Paris climate change agreement goal to limit global temperatures rise to 1.5C by 2100 (but only if countries stop using coa l),” it said.
Independent 19th Sept 2017 read more »