DATE: July 31, 2017
SNIP: An analysis of earth’s climate system, including factors like oceans’ ability to absorb carbon and the behavior of fine particles in the atmosphere, concludes that even if we could reduce our emissions to zero overnight the planet would still heat up by two more degrees Fahrenheit by 2100.
The study is published in Monday’s issue of Nature Climate Change. Lead author Thorsten Mauritsen from the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology says that while the data shows two degrees increase is now baked in, it could easily be three degrees if current emissions levels continue for the next 15 years.
The second new paper, also published in Nature Climate Change, gives an even more dire forecast for the coming century, reaching the conclusion that there is only about a five percent chance Earth’s climate will warm by 3.5 degrees (F) or less before the end of the century.
This study, led by researchers at the University of Washington, looked at statistics tied to humans’ footprint such as population growth and links between carbon emissions and economic activity.
“Our analysis shows that the goal of (3.5 degrees F) is very much a best-case scenario,” said lead author Adrian Raftery, a UW professor of statistics and sociology. “It is achievable, but only with major, sustained effort on all fronts over the next 80 years.”