Tipping Point of Climate Change

The average annual temperature will increase by 2 °C until the beginning of the next century. According to new University of Washington research, such an event will make the climate of the planet change irreversibly.

«Our analysis shows that the goal of 2°C is very much a best-case scenario. It is achievable, but only with major, sustained effort on all fronts over the next 80 years.” – said lead author Adrian Raftery, a professor of statistics and sociology at the University of Washington.

In December 2015 the representatives of 196 countries signed the first international agreement in Paris. The Agreement aims to respond to the global climate change threat by keeping a global temperature rise this century well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1,5°C.

In the Paris Agreement, each country determines, plans and regularly reports its own contribution it should make in order to mitigate global warming.

Adrian Raftery and his colleagues consider these terms unenforceable.

These statistically-based projections show a 90% chance that temperatures will increase this century by 2°C to 4,9°C.

“Our analysis is compatible with previous estimates, but it finds that the most optimistic projections are unlikely to happen,” Raftery said. “We’re closer to the margin than we think.”

What change will be further?

Using the data of the last century the scientists tried to predict how CO2 level will change until 2100.

The most recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change included future warming rates based on 4 scenarios for future carbon emissions. The scenarios ranged from “business-as-usual” emissions from growing economies to serious worldwide efforts to transition away from fossil fuels.

“The IPCC was clear that these scenarios were not forecasts,” Raftery said. “The big problem with scenarios is that you don’t know how likely they are and whether they span the full range of possibilities or are just a few examples. Scientifically, this type of storytelling approach was not fully satisfying.”

“Overall, the goals expressed in the Paris Agreement are ambitious but realistic. The bad news is they are unlikely to be enough to achieve the target of keeping warming at or below 1,5°C”, – Raftery made a conclusion.

According to such predictions, it will be appropriate to make some changes to achieve these goals.

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