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Pathways to 1.5°C and 2°C warming based on observational and geological constraints.

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January 22, 2018 University of Southampton read full ScienceDaily article here

New projections by researchers could be the catalyst the world has sought to determine how best to meet its obligations to reduce carbon emissions and better manage global warming as defined by the Paris Agreement.

[A new study projects] that if immediate action isn’t taken, Earth’s global average temperature is likely to rise to 1.5°C above the period before the industrial revolution within the next 17-18 years, and to 2.0°C in 35-41 years respectively if the carbon emission rate remains at its present-day value.

Through their projections, Dr Goodwin and Professor Williams advise that cumulative carbon emissions needed to remain below 195-205 PgC (from the start of 2017) to deliver a likely chance of meeting the 1.5°C warming target while a 2°C warming target requires emissions to remain below 395-455 PgC.

“Immediate action is required to develop a carbon-neutral or carbon-negative future or, alternatively, prepare adaptation strategies for the effects of a warmer climate,” said Dr Goodwin, Lecturer in Oceanography and Climate at Southampton.

“Our latest research uses a combination of a model and historical data to constrain estimates of how long we have until 1.5°C or 2°C warming occurs. We’ve narrowed the uncertainty in surface warming projections by generating thousands of climate simulations that each closely match observational records for nine key climate metrics, including warming and ocean heat content.”….

Philip Goodwin, Anna Katavouta, Vassil M. Roussenov, Gavin L. Foster, Eelco J. Rohling, Richard G. Williams. Pathways to 1.5°C and 2°C warming based on observational and geological constraints. Nature Geoscience, 2018; DOI: 10.1038/s41561-017-0054-8

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