The goal of the Paris climate agreement to limit global warming this century to 2°C above pre-industrial temperatures is still achievable! Moreover, scientists believe that apocalyptic, worst-case scenarios no longer threaten humanity.
It seems that humanity is still coping with the climate crisis
The Environmental Research Letters study shows that a subset of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) climate scenarios are in line with the latest International Energy Agency (IEA) data and projections up to 2050. These projections are for a warming of 2-3°C by 2100.
“We have to be careful. But it’s very good news as to where the world is today, compared to where we thought we might be,” said lead author Roger Pilke Jr., a professor of environmental studies.
To explore possible futures, scientists analyzed projections of how the future might develop based on data on greenhouse gas emissions. For their study, Pilke Jr. and colleagues studied a total of 1,311 climate scenarios. The authors compared the scenarios with predicted growth rates of carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels and industry for 2005-2050, most consistent with actual observations for 2005-2020.
The number of scenarios that most closely matched data from the past 15 years ranged from 100 to 500, depending on the method used. These scenarios represent the likely future if current trends continue and countries adopt the climate policies they have already announced to reduce carbon emissions.
However, according to the authors, there may also be additional, more optimistic or pessimistic futures. That is why humanity should continue to reduce emissions and think about the environment.