2°C warming goal now 'optimistic'

2012-02-09 22:47

Paris - French scientists unveiling new estimates for global warming said on Thursday the 2°C goal enshrined by the United Nations was "the most optimistic" scenario left for greenhouse-gas emissions.

The estimates, compiled by five scientific institutes, will be handed to the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for consideration in its next big overview on global warming and its impacts.

The report - the fifth in the series - will be published in three volumes, in September 2013, March 2014 and April 2014.

The French team said that by 2100, warming over pre-industrial times would range from 2°C to 5°C.

The most pessimistic scenarios foresee warming of 3.5-5.0°C, the scientists said in a press release.

Achieving 2°C, "the most optimistic scenario," is possible but "only by applying climate policies to reduce greenhouse gases", they said.

In its Fourth Assessment Report published 2007, the IPCC said Earth had already warmed in the 20th century by 0.74°C.

It predicted additional warming in the 21st century of 1.1-6.4°C, of which the likeliest range was 1.8-4.0°C.

The French estimates are derived from two different computer models that crunch data for four scenarios based on atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide (CO2), the main greenhouse gas.

The work differs from previous calculations as it takes into account the reflectivity of clouds and uptake of CO2 by the oceans and other factors that can skew the equation, the authors said.

Meeting in Cancun, Mexico in December 2010, countries under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) set 2°C above pre-industrial times as the maximum limit for warming.

They vowed to consider lowering it to 1.5°C if scientific evidence warranted this.

Small island states and other poor nations badly exposed to climate change are lobbying for the 1.5°C limit.

Read more on:    france  |  climate change  |  environment

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

linking and moving

2015-04-22 07:36

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Amazing solar inventions!

Solar power is lighting up the world, and not just on rooftops anymore.



Plastic on your plate
Prince George the green prince?
Lean, green, drifiting machine
One man's $1 million vision for an eco Africa

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

It may be hard to maintain a steady rhythm as you find yourself juggling a zillion things. Slow down a little and let go of some...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.