Interpreting the Paris Agreement’s 1.5C Temperature Limit

In a commentary paper for the journal Geophysical Research Letters, we show that the temperature limits in the Paris Agreement should be understood as changes in long-term global averages attributed to human activity, which exclude natural variability. This means 1.5C might be breached in individual years well before the global long-term 1.5C temperature limit has definitively been crossed.

Factcheck: Climate Models have not ‘Exaggerated’ Global Warming

A new study published in the Nature Geosciences journal this week by largely UK-based climate scientists has led to claims in the media that climate models are “wrong” and have significantly overestimated the observed warming of the planet. Here Carbon Brief shows why such claims are a misrepresentation of the paper’s main results.

Half a Degree could Make a World of Difference

Observational records show us that half a degree of warming in the recent past has brought significant increases in extreme weather events, which provides another line of evidence for what an additional 0.5C of warming could entail. Differentiating climate impacts between 1.5C and 2C warming above pre-industrial levels has been a hot topic in climate science since the adoption of the 1.5C long-term temperature limit in the Paris Agreement and much research is underway for inclusion in the IPCC special report on impacts at 1.5C warming.

Warming Limit of 1.5C Would ‘Save’ Huge Expanses of Permafrost, Study Says

The cost of allowing global temperature to rise to 2C, rather than capping warming at 1.5C, is an area of permafrost the size of Mexico, according to new research. The study, carried out by a team of scientists from Sweden, Norway and the UK, is the first to work out what the ambitious targets contained in the Paris Agreement mean for permafrost loss.

Kevin Anderson: Paris, Climate & Surrealism: How Numbers Reveal Another Reality

The Paris Agreement’s inclusion of “well below 2°C” and “pursue … 1.5°C” has catalysed fervent activity amongst many within the scientific community keen to understand what this more ambitious objective implies for mitigation.

As Nations Embrace Paris Agreement, World’s Existing Fossil Fuels Set to Exceed its Goals

Entitled “The Sky’s Limit: Why the Paris Climate Goals Require a Managed Decline of Fossil Fuel Production,” the report says that just burning fossil fuels from projects presently in operation will produce enough greenhouse gas emissions to push the world well past 2°C of warming this century. Limiting warming to 1.5°C calls for even larger closures of existing operations.

What Would a Global Warming Increase of 1.5 Degrees Be Like?

The Paris climate conference set the ambitious goal of finding ways to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, rather than the previous threshold of 2 degrees. But what would be the difference between a 1.5 and 2 degree world? And how realistic is such a target?