The Independent reports:
The world will almost certainly reach a tipping point and bring about unstoppable, destructive climate change, according to a new study. There is a 90 per cent chance that the world’s temperature will rise 2C, to 4.9C above pre-industrial levels by the end of the century, despite measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
It’s at that point that scientists think the world will fall into disastrous effects like widespread drought, extreme weather and dangerous increases in sea level. Experts have suggested that 2C of warming is the “tipping point” at which that change becomes unstoppable.
The scientists looked at 50 years of data on world population and economic activity to come up with their forecast. One factor taken into account was “carbon intensity”, the amount of carbon emitted for each dollar of economic activity. The approach is different from that taken by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), whose most recent report included future warming rates based on four carbon emission scenarios.
By the end of the century, the global temperature is likely to rise more than 2 degrees Celsius, or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit. This rise in temperature is the ominous conclusion reached by two different studies using entirely different methods published in the journal Nature Climate Change on Monday.
One study used statistical analysis to show that there is a 95% chance that Earth will warm more than 2 degrees at century’s end, and a 1% chance that it’s below 1.5 C.
“The likely range of global temperature increase is 2.0-4.9 [degrees Celsius] and our median forecast is 3.2 C,” said Adrian Raftery, author of the first study. “Our model is based on data which already show the effect of existing emission mitigation policies. Achieving the goal of less than 1.5 C warming will require carbon intensity to decline much faster than in the recent past.”