Get 20M+ Full-Text Papers For Less Than $1.50/day. Start a 14-Day Trial for You or Your Team.

Learn More →

Greenhouse-gas emission targets for limiting global warming to 2 °C

Greenhouse-gas emission targets for limiting global warming to 2 °C How quickly greenhouse-gas emissions need to be reduced in order to avoid what has been termed dangerous climate change is of fundamental importance. Two papers in this issue tackle the question from different standpoints, yet come to broadly similar conclusions. Meinshausen et al. relate the cumulative emission of greenhouse gasses by 2050 to the probability of exceeding the 2 °C of global warming above pre-industrial temperatures adopted by more than 100 countries as the threshold of dangerous climate change. They find that only about a third of economically recoverable oil, gas and coal reserves can be burned if global warming of 2 °C is to be avoided by 2100, an amount of fossil fuel that would be burned by 2029 if consumption remains at today's levels. Allen et al. use a combined climate and carbon cycle model to produce simulations spanning a range of climate futures consistent with the changes already observed. The 500 billionth tonne of anthropogenic carbon since 1750 was recently released into the atmosphere, and Allen et al. find that releasing a trillion tonnes of carbon in total is likely to cause a peak warming exceeding the 'acceptable' 2 °C temperature increase. Every tonne released thereafter increases the committed maximum warming in a predictable way, regardless of when it is released. Any effective climate mitigation regime must therefore achieve a cap on cumulative carbon dioxide emissions — one trillion tonnes would be a possible though optimistic target. In News and Views, Gavin Schmidt and David Archer consider these papers and other recent work focusing on establishing achievable emissions targets. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Nature Springer Journals

Greenhouse-gas emission targets for limiting global warming to 2 °C

Loading next page...
 
/lp/springer-journals/greenhouse-gas-emission-targets-for-limiting-global-warming-to-2-c-JNHjCX37Ba

References (57)

Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2009 by Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved
Subject
Science, Humanities and Social Sciences, multidisciplinary; Science, Humanities and Social Sciences, multidisciplinary; Science, multidisciplinary
ISSN
0028-0836
eISSN
1476-4687
DOI
10.1038/nature08017
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

How quickly greenhouse-gas emissions need to be reduced in order to avoid what has been termed dangerous climate change is of fundamental importance. Two papers in this issue tackle the question from different standpoints, yet come to broadly similar conclusions. Meinshausen et al. relate the cumulative emission of greenhouse gasses by 2050 to the probability of exceeding the 2 °C of global warming above pre-industrial temperatures adopted by more than 100 countries as the threshold of dangerous climate change. They find that only about a third of economically recoverable oil, gas and coal reserves can be burned if global warming of 2 °C is to be avoided by 2100, an amount of fossil fuel that would be burned by 2029 if consumption remains at today's levels. Allen et al. use a combined climate and carbon cycle model to produce simulations spanning a range of climate futures consistent with the changes already observed. The 500 billionth tonne of anthropogenic carbon since 1750 was recently released into the atmosphere, and Allen et al. find that releasing a trillion tonnes of carbon in total is likely to cause a peak warming exceeding the 'acceptable' 2 °C temperature increase. Every tonne released thereafter increases the committed maximum warming in a predictable way, regardless of when it is released. Any effective climate mitigation regime must therefore achieve a cap on cumulative carbon dioxide emissions — one trillion tonnes would be a possible though optimistic target. In News and Views, Gavin Schmidt and David Archer consider these papers and other recent work focusing on establishing achievable emissions targets.

Journal

NatureSpringer Journals

Published: Apr 30, 2009

There are no references for this article.