Study casts doubt on climate emissions pledge estimates

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A new analysis casts doubt on whether scientists can accurately predict how much nations’ joint emissions-cutting promises will affect global warming, rather than showing a wide range of possible outcomes.

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why it matters: World leaders need to know whether the emissions targets currently on the table will meet the Paris Agreement’s temperature targets or if more stringent commitments are needed. New study shows they are putting too much faith in temperature projections.

  • During COP26 in Glasgow, analyzes showed that an occupation as the normal course of greenhouse gas emissions would generate about 2.7 °C (about 4.9 °F) of global warming in 2100 compared to pre-industrial levels.
  • Quick analysis released during talks showed that all COP26 emissions pledges, including action on methane emissions, can bring this down to below 2 °C. But, he New study raises doubts on the accuracy of these figures.

threat level: For new studyPublished in the journal Nature Climate Change, the scientists used seven different computer models to simulate how emissions might be in the future by 2030, 2050 and 2100. This illustrates the dangers of focusing too much on specific global warming forecasts.

  • This is due to the uncertainties involved in projecting the model’s uncertainties and other factors, as well as future emissions and economic growth.
  • The world has already warmed by up to 1.1 °C (about 2 °F), leading to devastating extreme weather events.

Reference: In COP26, The International Energy Agency offered an estimated warming figure of 1.8 °C. (3.2 degrees Fahrenheit), provided each voluntary emissions pledge (known as a nationally determined contribution, or NDC) will be met in a timely manner, and cut emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, as well as net 2050 with zero commitments in mind.

  • other reports, such as Data from the non-profit Climate Action TrackerPutt found that the world is now on track to warm by 2.4 °C (4.32 °F), only when looking at the 2030 target.
  • “Even with the all-new Glasgow pledges for 2030, we will have almost twice as many emissions in 2030 as needed for 1.5. [degrees],” said the tracker’s analysis.
  • Such warming would be well above the Paris Agreement goal of keeping it “well below” 2 °C, with a stretch target of limiting it to 1.5 °C.

What’s new: The new study began a year ago and focused on warming over how much of a projected models to get a better idea of ​​the uncertainties involved.

  • Models showed that current policies, which would not include stringent emissions cuts, would lead to warming of between 2.3 to 2.9 °C (4.1 to 5.2 °F) by 2100.
  • Including the NDCs, this range will decrease to 2.2 to 2.7 °C (3.9 to 4.9 °F) somewhat below pre-industrial levels by 2100.
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yes but: When accounting for uncertainties about how the climate will respond to additional amounts of greenhouse gases, the study shows a wide range of possible outcomes.

  • When such uncertainties are taken into account, global warming could be as low as 3.8 °C (6.84 °F) or 1.7 °C (3.1 °F) above pre-industrial levels.

What are they saying: “In fact we are quite unsure of where current policies and NDCs take us, unlike a lot of media and communication during COP26,” said co-author Glen Peters of the Cicero Center for International Climate Research in Norway in an email. I told Nerdshala.

  • “This is important in terms of policy, because ambitious climate goals can often be more out of reach than we believe.”


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