Udayavni Special

Study: Warming already baked in will blow past climate goals


PTI, Jan 5, 2021, 10:58 AM IST

London: The amount of baked-in global warming, from carbon pollution already in the air, is enough to blow past international agreed upon goals to limit climate change, a new study finds. But it’s not game over because, while that amount of warming may be inevitable, it can be delayed for centuries if the world quickly stops emitting extra greenhouse gases from the burning of coal, oil and natural gas, the study’s authors say.

For decades, scientists have talked about so-called “committed warming” or the increase in future temperature based on past carbon dioxide emissions that stay in the atmosphere for well over a century. It’s like the distance a speeding car travels after the brakes are applied. But Monday’s study in the journal Nature Climate Change calculates that a bit differently and now figures the carbon pollution already put in the air will push global temperatures to about 2.3 degrees Celsius (4.1 degrees Fahrenheit) of warming since pre-industrial times.

Previous estimates, including those accepted by international science panels, were about a degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) less than that amount of committed warming. International climate agreements set goals of limiting warming to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) since pre-industrial times, with the more ambitious goal of limiting it to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) added in Paris in 2015. The world has already warmed about 1.1 degrees Celsius (2 degrees Fahrenheit).

“You’ve got some … global warming inertia that’s going to cause the climate system to keep warming, and that’s essentially what we’re calculating,” said study co-author Andrew Dessler, a climate scientist at Texas A&M University. “Think about the climate system like the Titanic. It’s hard to turn the ship when you see the icebergs.”

Dessler and colleagues at the Lawrence Livermore National Lab and Nanjing University in China calculated committed warming to take into account that the world has warmed at different rates in different places and that places that haven’t warmed as fast are destined to catch up. Places such as the Southern Ocean, surrounding Antarctica are a bit cooler, and that difference creates low-lying clouds that reflect more sun away from earth, keeping these places cooler. But this situation can’t keep going indefinitely because physics dictates that cooler locations will warm up more and when they do, the clouds will dwindle and more heating will occur, Dessler said.

Previous studies were based on the cooler spots staying that way, but Dessler and colleagues say that’s not likely. Outside experts said the work is based on compelling reasoning, but want more research to show that it’s true. Breakthrough Institute climate scientist Zeke Hausfather said the new work fits better with climate models than observational data.

Just because the world is bound to get more warming than international goals, that doesn’t mean all is lost in the fight against global warming, said Dessler, who cautioned against what he called “climate doomers.”

Udayavani is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest news.

Top News

India developing infrastructure in border areas, will not reduce troops unless China initiates process: Rajnath Singh

Too early to draw Covid-19 origin conclusions: WHO

No motorcycle stunts at R-Day parade this year; spectators size cut to 25K

Karnataka Digital Economy Mission to be launched in Feb

Bilawal Bhutto pitches for no-confidence motion to oust Imran Khan-led Pak govt

Trump impeachment trial in Senate to begin on Feb 8

India says it doesn’t support treaty on nuclear-weapon prohibition


Related Articles More

Ph 1 trial results show Covaxin has tolerable safety, enhanced immunity: Lancet study

$100 Million prize to develop this technology, Elon Musk announces

Google threatens to block Australians over media law

Turn back time? Study hints at way to halt decline as we age

Health-tech, cloud to see major growth in India in 2021: Report

MUST WATCH

Mangaluru: Police arrest nine students for alleged ragging

Remembering Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose | Asha Raghuvamshi

Inter-state Ganja smuggling racket busted: 7 held, 44.630 kgs of Marijuana seized

explosion sound around shivamogga

Mangaluru harassment in bus case: Young woman narrates her ordeal

Latest Additions

Hubballi man wearing PPE kit steals 25 kg gold from Delhi jewellery showroom

India developing infrastructure in border areas, will not reduce troops unless China initiates process: Rajnath Singh

Too early to draw Covid-19 origin conclusions: WHO

No motorcycle stunts at R-Day parade this year; spectators size cut to 25K

Karnataka Digital Economy Mission to be launched in Feb

Thanks for visiting Udayavani

You seem to have an Ad Blocker on.
To continue reading, please turn it off or whitelist Udayavani.