By Brian Merchant
28 September 2015
(Motherboard) – If every nation that has so far pledged to cut down on its carbon emissions made good on its promises, the global average temperature would still rise 3.5˚ Celsius by the end of the century. According to a new study from MIT Sloan and Climate Interactive, even with the hard-won commitments from nations around the world, we’re still on track for “catastrophic” levels of planetary heating. If, that is, the governmental targets aren’t stepped up, or paired with other aggressive efforts.
In advance of the upcoming climate talks in Paris this year, which many consider the world’s best shot at cementing an agreement to limit global warming, nations have begun submitting what are known in UN-speak as Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs).
These are basically declarations of intent for how a given country aims to reduce or mitigate its carbon emissions—Norway, for instance, is pledging to reduce its carbon emissions by 40 percent by 2030. The US is aiming for a 28 percent CO2 reduction by 2025. China, meanwhile, again made waves when it announced it would match the US’s fuel efficiency standards and launch a new cap-and-trade system for reducing pollution as part of its plan.
It should speak to the scope of the climate problem that even with all those reduction commitments on the books, we’re headed for what scientists say are civilization-threatening levels of warming. To reach that conclusion, MIT rounded up all such pledges that are on the books, and analyzed the total impact they’d have on temperature rise. [more]
28 September 2015 (Climate Interactive) – Calculations for the Climate Scoreboard are made by taking the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) received to date by the UN and analyzing them with C-ROADS, a scientifically reviewed climate simulator that is designed to aggregate the proposals of countries and country groups to calculate long-term global climate impacts such as carbon dioxide concentration and temperature. C-ROADS was built by Climate Interactive, Ventana Systems, and the MIT Sloan School of Management and is available to download for free. C-ROADS is calibrated to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report results.
Above is the summary graph and table that shows calculations behind the Climate Scoreboard as well as other important climate indicators.