World will not avoid global warming ‘tipping point’ of 1.5C, researchers warn
The battle at limit global warming to 1.5 Celsius by 2050 is doomed to fail, according to researchers who have examined data on global warming.
To achieve the goal of limiting temperature increase by this amount, global carbon emissions must reach net zero – where emissions are balanced by carbon absorbed by plants and carbon capture technology – by 2050.
To meet this target, emissions will have to fall by 43% by 2030, two scientists said in an article published in Science – but emissions continue to rise.
A rise of 1.5 degrees Celsius is considered significant because above this level there will be more heat waves, extreme weather events, droughts and greater economic losses.
Previous research had suggested that these emissions had already caused an increase of 1.25 Celsius.
The two researchers, H Damon Matthews and Seth Wynes, looked at research outlining the current state of the global climate system.
They also studied the past trends that led to the increase in warming already observed, and the efforts of other scientists to use this data to predict warming in the future, given different levels of carbon emissions. greenhouse gas.
The researchers also analyzed efforts around the world to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and used them to make estimates regarding their impact on slowing global warming.
Ultimately, the pair found that given the current circumstances, there is almost no chance that the 1.5 Celsius target will be met.
They suggest that the main obstacles to success are the lack of an appropriate global technology system and the political will to effect change – and conclude that the world is simply not seriously committed to achieving the goal.
The researchers write: “Although the growth rate of global carbon dioxide emissions has slowed and many countries have tightened their emissions targets, current mid-century net-zero targets are insufficient to limit global warming. 1.5 Celsius above pre-industrial temperatures.
“The main obstacles to realizing a 1.5 Celsius compatible pathway are not geophysical but rather reflect the inertia of our political and technological systems. Political and corporate leadership is needed to overcome this inertia, supported by increased societal recognition of the need for system-level and individual lifestyle changes.”
If countries continue on their current trajectory, the world will see sea levels rise more than two feet by 2100, according to the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
The impacts of climate change are already being felt around the world, with the UN attributing extreme weather events to human-induced climate change.
Nasa said: “More than one-fifth of all humans live in regions that have experienced warming greater than 1.5 Celsius in at least one season.
“Climate-related risks were found to be generally higher at lower latitudes and for disadvantaged people and communities.”
Watch: Europe’s first ‘heat chief’ explains how Athens is preparing for heatwaves