Monday, May 8, 2017

Global warming could accelerate towards 1.5℃ if the Pacific gets cranky

Global warming is rapidly approaching 1.5℃, but according to our new research, conditions in the Pacific Ocean over the coming decades will determine how fast we get there.

In a paper published today in Geophysical Research Letters, we use climate model simulations to quantify how fast global average temperatures will reach 1.5℃ above the pre-industrial average – one of the crucial benchmarks of the Paris Climate Agreement.

The Paris deal calls for governments to pursue the aim of keeping global warming below 1.5℃. But our results suggest that we could hit that level before the end of the next decade if the Pacific Ocean moves into a state we have nicknamed the “cranky uncle” for its effects on global temperatures.


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