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Is it possible to limit global warming to no more than 1.5°C?

Ranger, Nicola, Gohar, L. K., Lowe, J. A., Raper, S. C. B., Bowen, Alex and Ward, Robert E. T. (2012) Is it possible to limit global warming to no more than 1.5°C? Climatic Change, 111 (3-4). pp. 973-981. ISSN 0165-0009

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Identification Number: 10.1007/s10584-012-0414-8


This study explores the feasibility of limiting increases in global temperature to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. A probabilistic simple climate model is used to identify emissions paths that offer at least a 50% chance of achieving this goal. We conclude that it is more likely than not that warming would exceed 1.5°C, at least temporarily, under plausible mitigation scenarios. We have identified three criteria of emissions paths that could meet the 1.5°C goal with a temporary overshoot of no more than 50 years: early and strong reductions in emissions, with global emissions peaking in 2015 and falling to at most 44-48 GtCO 2e in 2020; rapid reductions in annual global emissions after 2020 (of at least 3-4% per year); very low annual global emissions by 2100 (less than 2-4 GtCO 2e) and falling to zero (or below) in the 22nd century. The feasibility of these characteristics is uncertain. We conclude that the proposed date of review of the 1.5°C goal, set at 2015, may be too late to achieve the necessary scaling up of emissions cuts to achieve this goal.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2012 Crown.
Divisions: Grantham Research Institute
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Q Science > Q Science (General)
Date Deposited: 15 Mar 2012 15:00
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2023 07:09

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