Planet has Just 5pc Chance of Reaching Paris Climate Goal

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Our chances of keeping warming under unsafe levels by the end of this century are increasingly slim, according to two new studies published Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change.

In the second study, researchers found that even if all greenhouse gas emissions instantly stopped, Earth would continue to heat up about another 2 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century.

"Achieving the goal of less than 1.5C warming will require carbon intensity to decline much faster than in the recent past", wrote the team.

"Overall, the goals expressed in the Paris Agreement are ambitious but realistic", Raftery said. Instead, the scientists used measurements from the atmosphere and of temperatures to calculate the extent of future warming.

With 2016 being declared the hottest year and 2017 not very far from breaking that record, the dangers of global warming on the world loom larger than ever. According to NASA, the first six months of this year were 0.94°C above the 1950-1980 average. Experts have suggested that 2C of warming is the "tipping point" at which that change becomes unstoppable.

It negates the most optimistic outcome as well as the worst case, which would see temperatures climb almost 6C beyond the pre-industrial era.

Missing that target would have dramatic consequences on people's livelihoods - such as prolonged periods of drought and rising sea levels - said Adrian Raftery, the lead author of the study and a professor at the University of Washington.

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"This is due to the fact that much of the expected future population growth will be in Africa, in countries whose carbon emissions are now very low", said Raftery.

"It is achievable, but only with major, sustained effort on all fronts over the next 80 years", he explained. To make matters worse, the study has speculated a peak in death toll with a projected 60,000 globally in 2030 and 260,000 by 2100. Dotted lines show the four "scenarios" from the latest IPCC climate report.

The researchers analyzed the trajectory and impact on global warming of three factors: total world population, GDP per person and carbon intensity, or carbon emitted per dollar of economic activity. So as emissions fall - and aerosols wash out of the air - we might find ourselves on track for even more warming than we realized, said Robert Pincus, a scientist with the University of Colorado, Boulder, and NOAA's Physical Sciences Division.

NY Magazine writer David Wallace-Wells argued if nothing was done to curb fossil fuel use "parts of the Earth will likely become close to uninhabitable, and other parts horrifically inhospitable, as soon as the end of this century". But the study found "a wide range of possible values of carbon intensity over future decades, depending on technological progress and countries' commitments to implementing changes".

"Countries need to change the economic incentives for producing carbon - for example by introducing a carbon tax - and encourage innovation that would improve energy efficiency", he said.

Startz said in his opinion there are two primary ways to accomplish this: Financial incentives to reduce carbon emissions-like carbon taxes or cap-and-trade programs-and a lot more support for scientific research that would help reduce emissions.

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