The many possible climates from the Paris Agreement’s aim of 1.5 °C warming

Sonia I. Seneviratne, Joeri Rogelj, Roland Séférian, Richard Wartenburger, Myles R. Allen, Michelle Cain, Richard J. Millar, Kristie L. Ebi, Neville Ellis, Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, Antony J. Payne, Carl-Friedrich Schleussner, Petra Tschakert, Rachel F. Warren

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Abstract

The United Nations’ Paris Agreement includes the aim of pursuing efforts to limit global warming to only 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels. However, it is not clear what the resulting climate would look like across the globe and over time. Here we show that trajectories towards a ‘1.5 °C warmer world’ may result in vastly different outcomes at regional scales, owing to variations in the pace and location of climate change and their interactions with society’s mitigation, adaptation and vulnerabilities to climate change. Pursuing policies that are considered to be consistent with the 1.5 °C aim will not completely remove the risk of global temperatures being much higher or of some regional extremes reaching dangerous levels for ecosystems and societies over the coming decades.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41–49
Number of pages9
JournalNature
Volume558
Early online date6 Jun 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jun 2018

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