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One of the key goals of the Paris Agreement is to limit the increase in global temperatures to 1.5°C.

While this is ambitious, it is ‘in reach’, according to a new study.

Researchers have found that with significant emission reductions, this goal could be achieved by 2100. 

The team hopes the findings will encourage countries to stop using coal and turn to more renewable energy options.

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One of the key goals of the Paris Agreement is to limit the increase in global temperatures to 1.5°C, but this will be no mean feat, according to a new study. Researchers have found that significant emission reductions are needed if we're to achieve this goal 

One of the key goals of the Paris Agreement is to limit the increase in global temperatures to 1.5°C, but this will be no mean feat, according to a new study. Researchers have found that significant emission reductions are needed if we’re to achieve this goal 

THE STUDY 

To evaluate the outstanding ‘carbon budget’ the researchers used three approaches.

Firstly, they reassessed the evidence from the Earth System Models – a widely used climate model that integrates the interactions of atmosphere, ocean, land, ice, and biosphere.

Next, they completed new experiments with an intermediate-complexity model.

And finally, they used a simple model to evaluate current ranges of uncertainty.

In all three cases, the level of emissions and warming to date were taken into account.

The results showed that with ambitious mitigation of greenhouse gases, future net carbon emissions could be compatible with limiting warming to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial temperatures by 2100. 

An international team of researchers, led by the University of Oxford, have looked at the likelihood of limiting global warming to ‘well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C.’

The team found that limiting the increase in global average temperatures to 1.5°C – the goal of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change – is not yet geophysically impossible.

Dr Richard Millar, lead author of the study said: ‘Limiting total CO2 emissions from the start of 2015 to beneath 240 billion tonnes of carbon (880 billion tonnes of CO2), or about 20 years’ of current emissions, would likely achieve the Paris goal of limiting warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.’

To evaluate the outstanding ‘carbon budget’ the researchers used three approaches.

Firstly, they reassessed the evidence from the Earth System Models – a widely used climate model that integrates the interactions of atmosphere, ocean, land, ice, and biosphere.

Next, they completed new experiments with an intermediate-complexity model.

And finally, they used a simple model to evaluate current ranges of uncertainty.

In all three cases, the level of emissions and warming to date were taken into account.

The results showed that with ambitious mitigation of greenhouse gases, future net carbon emissions could be compatible with limiting warming to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial temperatures by 2100.

The researchers emphasise that they believe the Paris goals are within reach, but will need countries to lower their coal use

The researchers emphasise that they believe the Paris goals are within reach, but will need countries to lower their coal use

The researchers emphasise that they believe the Paris goals are within reach, but will need countries to lower their coal use

KEY GOALS OF THE PARIS AGREEMENT

The Paris Agreement on Climate Change has four main goals with regards to reducing emissions:

1)  A long-term goal of keeping the increase in global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels

2) To aim to limit the increase to 1.5°C, since this would significantly reduce risks and the impacts of climate change

3) Goverments agreed on the need for global emissions to peak as soon as possible, recognising that this will take longer for developing countries

4) To undertake rapid reductions thereafter in accordance with the best available science

Source: European Commission 

Professor Pierre Friedlingstein, a co-author of the study from the University of Exeter, said: ‘Previous estimates of the remaining 1.5°C carbon budget based on the IPCC 5th Assessment were around four times lower, so this is very good news for the achievability of the Paris targets.

‘The 5th Assessment did not specifically address the implications of the very ambitious 1.5°C goal using multiple lines of evidence as we do here.

‘The ambition of Paris caught much of the science community by surprise.’

The researchers emphasise that while they believe the Paris goals are within reach, countries need to lower their coal use to achieve it. 

Professor Michael Grubb, co-author of the study, said: ‘This paper shows that the Paris goals are within reach, but clarifies what the commitment to “pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C” really implies.

‘Starting with the global review due next year, countries have to get out of coal and strengthen their existing targets so as to keep open the window to the Paris goals.

The study comes amid confusion over the US government's stance on the Paris Agreement, with Donald Trump announcing he would pull America out of the deal, while top officials have recently indicated it could stay in

The study comes amid confusion over the US government's stance on the Paris Agreement, with Donald Trump announcing he would pull America out of the deal, while top officials have recently indicated it could stay in

The study comes amid confusion over the US government’s stance on the Paris Agreement, with Donald Trump announcing he would pull America out of the deal, while top officials have recently indicated it could stay in

‘The sooner global emissions start to fall, the lower…



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