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New computer models: Paris climate target no longer seems achievable – Market Research Telecast

November 24, 2021
A research group used computer-aided assessment models to monitor the development of global CO2-Emissions in the energy sector recalculated. It used the short-term containment efforts as a basis and two assumptions about how these will continue after 2030. They come to the conclusion that neither the 1.6 nor the 2 degree target of the Paris Agreement can be achieved, even if all states meet their climate targets for the next nine years.

Despite the wide range of emissions up to 2050, there is at least no mean warming of more than 3 degrees in 2100 compared to the pre-industrial level for almost all scenarios, writes the team in its on Monday in the specialist journal “Nature Climate Change” published study. However, even the most optimistic description of the situation is not enough to limit global warming to 2 degrees. More likely an average global warming of 2.2 to 2.9 degrees by then. The exact result depends on the assumptions that go into the computer model.

Most of the literature on integrated assessment models to date has focused on cost-effective pathways to meet specific temperature goals. Well-known models are usually based on a set temperature target and certain emission profiles that are compatible with it. The approach taken by the authors of the current study is the other way around: based on today’s climate policy, they calculate the most likely course of emissions up to 2100. To do this, they compare seven different “Integrated Assessment Models”. These simulate how the energy industry and society will develop over the next few decades.
Each of these models work with different assumptions. It is about how fast the expansion of renewable energies is going, what proportion of hydrogen will have in the energy mix and to what extent CO2 can be separated from the atmosphere and stored. The population development in individual regions is also used. The researchers then combine the models with scenarios of how climate policy measures could develop worldwide by 2030 and beyond. Some of them are based solely on data on current regional climate policies. Others also assume that all countries will meet their climate targets by 2030. The authors did not take long-term net zero promises for climate neutrality into account.
According to the study, the choice of model has a major influence on how strong the respective temperature rise will be. Whether countries fully meet their climate targets by 2030, on the other hand, plays a subordinate role in the forecast. The authors emphasize that forecasts for global warming can hardly be compressed to a single number, as the assumptions that are used in the models are subject to great uncertainties.

The data on which the study is based was published in September 2021. Thus, the resolutions and sharpened climate targets of the UN climate conference COP26 in November in Glasgow are not taken into account. Reports from various organizations published at the same time roughly match the results of the analysis, even if they are only comparable to a limited extent. It speaks of an average global warming of around 2.7 degrees based on current climate policy and a temperature increase of around 2.4 degrees if all countries achieve their climate goals. 1.8 degrees would be realistic if all net-zero commitments were met.

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