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Global climate change

Carbon emissions must be reversed in order to meet future global temperature targets

By Brett Anderson, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
1/25/2018, 1:58:55 PM

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New global temperature projections from researchers at the Universities of Southampton, Liverpool and the Australian National University indicate that if immediate action is not taken in regards to reducing carbon emissions, then the world's average temperature is likely to rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius above the period before the Industrial Revolution within the next 17 to 18 years and to 2.0 C in 35 to 41 years.

Lead authors of this study, Dr. Philip Goodwin and professor Ric Williams advise that cumulative carbon emissions needed to remain below 91-96 parts per million (from the start of 2017) to bring a likely chance of meeting the 1.5 C warming target. While a 2 C warming target requires emissions to remain below 185-213 ppm.

Key excerpt from the University of Southampton report......

“Immediate action is required to develop a carbon-neutral or carbon-negative future or, alternatively, prepare adaptation strategies for the effects of a warmer climate,” said Dr Goodwin, Lecturer in Oceanography and Climate at Southampton. “Our latest research uses a combination of a model and historical data to constrain estimates of how long we have until 1.5°C or 2°C warming occurs. We’ve narrowed the uncertainty in surface warming projections by generating thousands of climate simulations that each closely match observational records for nine key climate metrics, including warming and ocean heat content.”

This latest research reinforces Goodwin's and Williams previous conclusions that the more cumulative carbon emissions are allowed to increase, the more global surface warming will also increase.

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This study was recently published in the February 2018 issue of Nature Geoscience.

The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or AccuWeather.com

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Global climate change