Study Shows We Have A 5% Chance of Dodging Global Warming

Muriel Hammond
August 1, 2017

There is only a 5pc chance that the Earth will avoid warming by at least 2C come the end of the century, according to new research that paints a sobering picture of the worldwide effort to stem risky climate change.

"Our median forecast is 3.2 C", Raftery said.

The first study took into account statistics of chances of warming by the year 2100 and considered three main issues: global population, people per country and carbon intensity which is emitted by the economy of each of the countries.

Two separate studies published online Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change found Earth will be warmer by at least 2 degrees by the year 2100.

The world will nearly certainly fail to keep warming to the 1.5C target that was set as part of the Paris climate agreement, according to the same research.

The authors point out in the paper that their model is not a "business as usual" scenario, but instead based on data that already shows the effects of mitigating climate change in policy, so it is the most inclusive model to date.

By the turn of the century, the earth is very likely to exceed the 2 degrees Celsius threshold viewed by many scientists as the "tipping point" that should be avoided at all costs and was set by the landmark Paris Climate Accord, a pair of studies says.

"Our analysis shows that the two-stage target is achieved only in the ideal scenario and can be achieved, but only by significant and sustained efforts on all fronts over the next 80 years", adds -he. The researchers' analysis shows an overwhelming 90 percent chance of temperatures going up by anywhere between 2 and 4.9 degrees Celsius by 2100.


These odds diminish further when we consider the targets set by the 2016 Paris Agreement, no thanks, as ever, to Donald Trump.

Governments settled on the 2C threshold partly through political expediency but also because scientists have warned of severe consequences from sea level rise, drought, heatwaves and social unrest should the temperature rise beyond this. To put the challenge in perspective, if we all stopped burning all fossil fuels immediately, we would more likely than not experience warming of 1.3C by the end of the century.

According to the united Nations, the global population will climb from approximately 7.5 billion people now to 11.2 billion by 2100, increasing the pressure on energy resources.

Climate change is often associated with impending dangers such as heat stress, severe storms, flooding, inhibited access to clean water and food, and the spread of infectious diseases.

However, the growing population is likely not to have a very large impact on carbon emissions.

Some uncertainty remains around how much Africa's emissions will grow over the coming century, he said, but relative to the United States, it's a question of whether Africa's per capita emissions will be "lower or much, much lower".

The biggest factor was found to be carbon intensity, which has been dropping in recent years due to increased energy efficiency across industries.

"Our study already assumes that the trends in carbon intensity will continue to improve", said Startz. The Paris Agreement is less precise, with signatories aiming for emissions to peak "as soon as possible".

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