World nations’ collective climate pledges — if fully realized — would limit global warming to under 2°C (3.6°F) above preindustrial levels, one of two goals set in the 2015 Paris agreement, a study published Wednesday in Nature finds.
Global temperatures are already 1.1°C (2°F) above preindustrial levels. The findings are cause for some optimism, but with significant caveats. The study only assessed countries’ pledges as stated and did not assess whether nations were taking the necessary policy steps to achieve them, nor did it look at whether they were likely to do so.
Even if the world’s nations were to hold warming to 2°C, that level of warming would still cause catastrophic destruction and disruption in the form of stronger storms, rising sea-levels, deadly heatwaves, increased smog and infectious disease, and animal and plant extinctions.
Republished from Nexus Media News, an editorially independent, nonprofit news service covering stories about climate change. It exists to improve public understanding of the climate crisis, shed light on the steps humans can take in response, and highlight the potential opportunities created by a just energy transition.