Paris saw the governments of the world not only confirm they want to keep warming under 2 degrees but that ideally they want to limit warming to 1.5 degrees. This is in recognition of the growing evidence on the impacts of warming, particularly on sea level.
How realistic are these goals? In today’s Whiteboard Friday Gareth looks at 3 things:
- The trend in global temperatures – how we have already passed 1 degree of warming and the trend is rapidly increasing.
- This is because global emissions have been increasing up until 2015, and only recently may have started to stabilise. This shows what a huge challenge we face since emissions need to be rapidly reduced to zero and ideally negative.
- Finally, after Geoff looked at what a ‘fair target’ would be for New Zealand under the 2 degree goal, Gareth looks at what New Zealand would have to do to keep warming under 1.5 degrees. To keep things simple Gareth has focussed only on CO2 rather than including other greenhouse gases. You’ll be shocked about how little time we have left.
If you want to read more detail on what changes to emissions are needed to keep warming under 1.5 or 2 degrees, have a look at this useful blog.