New peer-reviewed studies examine how the world’s largest carbon emitters could add to temperature extremes in specific regions, and how the same countries can spread technology that could help prevent runaway warming.
Why it matters: One provides a deeper understanding of why current policies will not only cause a temperature rise that blows past the Paris climate agreement goals, but will also lead to more acutely dangerous spikes.
The big picture: Varying levels of future emissions-cutting by the 3 biggest polluters — China, the EU and the U.S. — change the odds of “extreme temperature events” in some areas of the globe.
“Here, for the first time, we quantify emitter‐level contributions to the frequency of future extremes based on current emissions reduction policies,” states the paper in Geophysical Research Letters.
It models various emissions pathways by the 3 polluters, including…
Cuts consistent with holding the temperature rise to the Paris Climate Agreement’s baseline target of 2°C, and those that would meet the aspirational goal of stopping the rise at 1.5°C above preindustrial levels.Existing pledges under the Paris deal that aren’t enough to meet either of those goals, and would allow temperatures to soar far past 2°C.
What they found: Higher emissions not only mean higher average