It takes a lot to get me down about climate change – I like to focus on solutions.
But every now and then I see some news or new research about climate change that really gets to me.
One was when then-head of the United Nations climate efforts Cristiana Figueres said at a press conference the Paris deal wasn’t enough to keep the global temperature rise under 2 degrees Celsius [3.6 F].
This new report by the University of Washington in Seattle is another nail in the coffin of the 2C goal.
An average global temperature rise of 2C is widely seen as the “tipping point” after which the impacts of global warming could be catastrophic.
Think HUGE, MAJOR changes.
We’re very likely to exceed that tipping point, a new report by the University of Washington found.
“Our analysis shows that the goal of 2 degrees is very much a best-case scenario,” lead author Adrian Raftery, a UW professor of statistics and sociology said in the press release.
“It is achievable, but only with major, sustained effort on all fronts over the next 80 years,” he added.
In fact, we only have a 5 percent chance of keeping the rise under 2C by the end of the century, the report found.
There is just a 1 percent chance of keeping the rise from climate change under 1.5C – which the Paris climate deal included as a target.
Keeping the temperature rise under 1.5C might save places like the low-lying Marshall Islands, a Pacific atoll nation, or coastal areas from Bangladesh to Miami.
But that seems out of reach at this point – after this report, and with the knowledge that the world’s combined efforts within the Paris deal still have us on track for more than 3C warming.
That means rising seas (more than 3 feet by the end of the century), stronger and more frequent storms, droughts, heat waves, flooding, wildfires, increased range of diseases, and lots of climate refugees.