90 percent chance Earth warms by more than 2 degrees

Climate Change

"The consequences of not [acting] are even higher with these results than they were before, when we could think about 1.5 degrees as being in the realm of possibility - which I think, realistically, it's not", he said, urging more investments in research, a tax on carbon and other established paths to emissions reductions.

The new paper focuses instead on three quantities that underpin the scenarios for future emissions: total world population, gross domestic product per person and the amount of carbon emitted for each dollar of economic activity, known as carbon intensity.

There is a 95% chance that even concerted global efforts to tackle climate change won't help the planet stay within 2C warming this century.

The study further claims that is extremely unlikely for the planet to remain below the 2-degrees Celsius threshold as set in the Paris climate agreement in 2015 due to global trends in the economy, emissions and population growth. 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.

The most recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) included future warming rates based on four scenarios for future carbon emissions, researchers said.

"Our analysis shows that the goal of 2 degrees (Celsius) is very much a best-case scenario", Raftery said.

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"It is achievable, but only with major, sustained effort on all fronts over the next 80 years", he explained.

A new study found that global temperature is likely to rise more than 2 degrees Celsius by the end of the century.

"This is due to the fact that much of the expected future population growth will be in Africa, in countries whose carbon emissions are now very low", said Raftery. Scientists warn warming above such a threshold is likely to trigger catastrophic sea level rise, as well as extreme droughts, heat waves and weather.

Led by scientists from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the research uses results from several of the leading climate change modeling groups to estimate the number of premature deaths that would stem from particulate matter and ozone in 2030 and 2100.

Richard Startz, an economist at the University of California at Santa Barbara who worked on the study, told Project Earth the most surprising finding was that population growth will not be a major factor in increased Carbon dioxide emissions over the course of the century. If all greenhouse gas emissions stop in 2017, the team projects warming by 2100 to be between 1.6 and 4.1 degrees Fahrenheit, though the ocean could reduce committed warming by 0.4 degrees Fahrenheit. But since most of this growth is expected to come from Africa, where fossil fuel consumption is low, the researchers found this factor to be only a minor one in their projections.

All those factors considered, the most likely figure for warming is about 3.2C by 2100, the study finds. But the study found "a wide range of possible values of carbon intensity over future decades, depending on technological progress and countries' commitments to implementing changes". The Paris climate agreement won't be enough.

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