News Worms
News Worms


Earth will likely pass heat 'tipping point' by 2100

Earth will likely pass heat 'tipping point' by 2100

There is a good chance that the average temperature of the planet will rise by more than two degrees by the end of the century, crossing a threshold that the Paris Agreement has set as limit, scientists said on Monday. The study was published Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change. They found there's a 13 percent chance Earth is already committed to a climate that's 1.5 degrees Celsius warmer. This latter target is barely plausible, the new research finds, with just a 1pc chance that temperatures will rise by less than 1.5C.

The discourse on climate change and global warming is far from over.

"The inland areas have certainly been warmer away from the cooling influence of the ocean ... but certainly some of the temperature anomalies extend right across northern Australia". Last year was the hottest year on record, and the 12 warmest years on record have all occurred since 1998. They undertook to hold global warming to "well below" 2C over pre-Industrial Revolution levels, and to strive for 1.5C in a bid to stave off disastrous sea level rise, droughts, storms and other climate effects. Experts have suggested that 2C of warming is the "tipping point" at which that change becomes unstoppable.

The faster emissions can be reduced, the more of a chance there is to avoid the most debilitating of these impacts.

"Our analysis shows that the goal of 2 degrees is very much a best-case scenario", says lead author Adrian Raftery, professor of statistics and sociology at the University of Washington. In the worst-case scenario, temperatures are estimated to rise nearly 6 degrees Celsius beyond pre-industrial times.

"It is achievable, but only with major, sustained effort on all fronts over the next 80 years", Raftery explained in a university news release. To make matters worse, the study has speculated a peak in death toll with a projected 60,000 globally in 2030 and 260,000 by 2100. There's a 90 percent chance temperatures will climb by at least 2 degrees Celsius by the end of the century - and they could get nearly 5 degrees higher.

A team of scientists based in the United States has used projections of population growth to estimate future production and emissions of carbon due to fossil fuel use that accompanies it.

Technological advances are expected to cut global carbon intensity by 90pc over the course of the century, with sharp declines in China and India - two newly voracious consumers of energy. According to the study, even though carbon intensity has dropped in recent decades as countries increase energy efficiency and enact carbon-reducing policies, it will need to drop much more to see the kind of progress the global climate community is aiming for with the Paris Agreement targets. "So more reductions in carbon intensity aren't enough".

"Our estimates are based on things that have already happened, things we can observe, and they point to the part of future warming that is already committed to by past emissions", Mauritsen said in the statement.

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