By Megan Darby
29 June 2016
(Climate Change News) – Scientists have bad news for people on the front line of climate change impacts.
The 1.5C global warming limit vulnerable countries fought hard to include in the Paris Agreement may already be out of reach.
There is slim chance of stabilising temperature rise at that level without controversial negative emissions technology, according to a study published in Nature.
“The window for limiting warming to below 1.5C with high probability and without temporarily exceeding that level already seems to have closed,” the report found.
It is a blow for those living near the coast of Bangladesh or low-lying islands like Kiribati, which is preparing for an exodus as rising seas swallow homes.
Coral reefs dying and tropical heatwaves are also expected to kick in at moderate levels of global warming, affecting millions of people worldwide.
In the most up-to-date analysis available, researchers found national climate pledges were consistent with temperature rise of 2.6-3.1C above pre-industrial levels. [more]
ABSTRACT: The Paris climate agreement aims at holding global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius and to “pursue efforts” to limit it to 1.5 degrees Celsius. To accomplish this, countries have submitted Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) outlining their post-2020 climate action. Here we assess the effect of current INDCs on reducing aggregate greenhouse gas emissions, its implications for achieving the temperature objective of the Paris climate agreement, and potential options for overachievement. The INDCs collectively lower greenhouse gas emissions compared to where current policies stand, but still imply a median warming of 2.6–3.1 degrees Celsius by 2100. More can be achieved, because the agreement stipulates that targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions are strengthened over time, both in ambition and scope. Substantial enhancement or over-delivery on current INDCs by additional national, sub-national and non-state actions is required to maintain a reasonable chance of meeting the target of keeping warming well below 2 degrees Celsius.