It might still be possible to meet the 1.5°C temperature target set by the Paris Agreement, scientists say, but we probably need to strengthen the current pledges for emissions reductions.
An international team of researchers, including Victoria Univerity of Wellington’s Professor Dave Frame, assessed remaining carbon emission budgets compatible with limiting warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial temperatures by 2100. They estimate that limiting total CO2 emissions from the start of 2015 to about 880 billion tonnes would give a two-in-three chance of holding warming to less than 0.6°C above the present decade.
Professor Frame told Stuff.co.nz the study meant meeting the target was “possibly if we really try”, but that trying was “a question for politics and economics”.
“The point of it is if we hit the brakes really hard we could do less damage than we thought,” he said. “All we are saying is, physically, it might be a bit more possible than we thought.”
The study was covered by local and international media, including:
The Australian: Experts admit global warming predictions wrong
Scientific American: Limiting Global Warming to 1.5 Degrees Celsius May Still Be Possible
BBC News: Paris climate aim ‘still achievable’