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1.5 Degree Goal: our Carbon Budget is shrinking?

International research consortium publishes new estimates

The temperature on our planet is rising steadily due to the release of additional greenhouse gases. Can we still limit global warming to 1.5 degrees? How much greenhouse gas can we still release? An international consortium of researchers, including a scientist from GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, recently published a study in the international journal Nature Geoscience.

© GEOMAR | IPCC | Observed and projected temperature change.

Once again, 2020 was in Germany one of the warmest years on record. The temperature of our planet continues to rise, caused by the release of greenhouse gases, first and foremost carbon dioxide. Scientists have been pointing out for years that if the emissions of greenhouse gases, mainly caused by the burning of fossil fuels, are not reduced this can lead to dramatic consequences and therefore recommendations for taking measures to limit warming to two, or better still 1.5 degrees were issued. But time is running out.

In a study, an international group of scientists has determined how much carbon dioxide we can still emit in order not to miss the 1.5 degree target. Without reducing emissions, we only have about 10 years left. Dr. Nadine Mengis, scientist from the Research Unit Biogeochemical Modelling at GEOMAR was involved in the study. She reported on the details of the study to the Helmholtz Climate Initiative. (In German only)

  • Science paper: Matthews, H.D., Tokarska, K.B., Nicholls, Z.R.J. et al. Opportunities and challenges in using remaining carbon budgets to guide climate policy. Nat. Geosci. 13, 769–779 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41561-020-00663-3 


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