Paris Climate Pledges|Not Enough to Save Us

     (CN) – Top scientists say the Paris climate change agreement will not prevent global temperatures from rising to catastrophic levels in about 35 years, and they say they have the data to prove it.
     Six scientists who were involved in past international climate conferences joined with the Universal Ecological Fund in Argentina to publish a brief report Thursday, finding that if additional cuts in heat-trapping gases aren’t enacted soon, Earth will warm by another 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit by 2050.
     Such an increase would put the planet over the 3.6 degrees above pre-industrial levels that, in 2009, world leaders agreed that they wanted to avoid. Temperatures have already risen about 1.8 degrees, so the international community’s goal is basically to preventing a rise of another 1.8 degrees going forward.
     After examining carbon pollution reductions promised by 190 nations in the 2015 Paris agreement, the scientists said they are simply not enough.
     “The pledges are not going to get even close,” said lead author Sir Robert Watson, a former World Bank chief scientist who used to be chairman of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. “If you governments of the world are really serious, you’re going to have to do way, way more.”
     With the emissions cuts pledged under the Paris agreement, the planet will likely hit the danger mark by 2050, the team calculated. This finding backs up what other researchers have concluded.
     But the scientists also said that making a just a few more cuts could delay the danger zone by another 20 years.
     In Paris, the involved nations also made limiting global warming to just another 0.9 degrees Fahrenheit an objective to strive toward.
     Watson said that the carbon dioxide already in the atmosphere ensures the world will hit that mark. And as the planet continues to warm, more harmful effects will be experienced in different regions of the world.
     “As you go more and more above [3.8 degrees Fahrenheit], the negative effects become more and more pronounced, more and more severe,” Watson said.
     Watson was at an event in Washington celebrating the Paris agreement a few weeks ago, with U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and former Vice President and climate change warrior Al Gore.
     “It struck me that this was naive,” Watson said. “This is a real major challenge to stay even close to [3.8 degrees Fahrenheit].”
     Six scientists not involved with the study told The Associated Press that the science and the team’s conclusions are sound.
     “It is a good summary of what is common knowledge in the climate expert community but not widely appreciated by members of the public and even policymakers,” Stefan Rahmstorf, head of Earth system analysis at the Potsdam Institute in Germany, said. “So indeed it is a useful reminder notice to the world about what is at stake.”
     Scientists at Climate Interactive in Asheville, North Carolina – and not involved in Watson’s report – ran a computer simulation on Tuesday using pledges from the Paris agreement. They found that the dangerous mark will be reached by 2051, group co-director Drew Jones said.

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