That two degree limit is closer than it appears

The UNFCCC’s COP21 concluded goals which aimed for limiting global warming to +1.5\textdegree C, and certainly keeping it below +2.0\textdegree C, both measured with respect to pre-industrial temperatures.

Bad news.

According to the United States National Center for Atmospheric Research (“NCAR”), in cooperation with the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (“UCAR”), we are already at +1.5\textdegree C. The explanation?

“The physics of Earth’s climate system means that warming continues long after greenhouse gases enter the atmosphere. That’s because the oceans continue to warm up for decades in response to greenhouse gases already in the atmosphere, creating a lag in the climate system.

“As a result, we’re committed to about 0.5\textdegree C of additional warming even if we could immediately stabilize levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, research has shown. The extra warming means that the planet is effectively three-quarters of the way to the +2\textdegree C target.”

2016-04-15, Update

March 2016: A scorcher. Hat tip to Tamino.

(Click on image to see a larger figure. Use browser Back Button to return.)

About ecoquant

See Retired data scientist and statistician. Now working projects in quantitative ecology and, specifically, phenology of Bryophyta and technical methods for their study.
This entry was posted in adaptation, Anthropocene, carbon dioxide, carbon dioxide capture, carbon dioxide sequestration, Carbon Worshipers, chaos, civilization, climate, climate change, climate disruption, complex systems, COP21, corporate litigation on damage from fossil fuel emissions, corporate supply chains, critical slowing down, differential equations, Eaarth, ecology, environment, evidence, exponential growth, extended supply chains, forecasting, fossil fuel divestment, fossil fuels, geoengineering, geophysics, global warming, greenhouse gases, Hyper Anthropocene, IPCC, James Hansen, meteorology, mitigation, NCAR, NOAA, oceanography, physics, Principles of Planetary Climate, rationality, reasonableness, risk, science, temporal myopia, the right to be and act stupid, the right to know, the value of financial assets, Wally Broecker, zero carbon. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a reply. Commenting standards are described in the About section linked from banner.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.