The climate change simulations that best capture current planetary conditions are also the ones that predict the most dire levels of human-driven warming, according to a statistical study released in the journal Nature on Wednesday.

The study, by Patrick Brown and Ken Caldeira of the Carnegie Institution for Science in Stanford, California, examined the high-powered climate change simulations, or models, that researchers use to project the future of the planet based on the physical equations that govern the behavior of the atmosphere and oceans….

….Lead study author Brown argued, though, that the results have a major real-world implication: They could mean the world can emit even less carbon dioxide than we thought if it wants to hold warming below the widely accepted target of 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit). This would mean shrinking the “carbon budget.”

The study “would imply that to stabilize temperature at 2 degrees Celsius, you’d have to have 15 percent less cumulative CO2 emissions,” he said.