Can the Paris Agreement stop global warming?

Selina Howalt Owe, Jens Olaf Pepke Pedersen

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At the COP21 meeting in Paris world leaders agreed to keep the Earth’s temperature well below 2 degrees Celsius and preferably limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre‐industrial levels. To achieve this they decided to reduce the predicted emission of greenhouse gases in the year 2030 of about 55 Gt Carbon to 40 Gt Carbon. This can be compared to an approximate emission of 35 Gt in 2014 and thus means that a global rise in emission of only 5 Gt Carbon is allowed over the next 15 years Using the Danish Center for Earth System Science (DCESS)model [1] we have investigated how large an emission reduction is necessary to keep the global temperatures below these targets.The DCESS model is a low order Earth system box model which includes atmosphere, ocean, ocean sediment, land biosphere and lithosphere components, and using the year 1765 as the preindustriallevel. We have examined different emission scenarios and the national commitments and find that even if the Paris Agreement is fulfilled, global temperatures will have increased by 1.5 degree C in 2030, and then only a yearly percentage reduction of 5% or more will be sufficient to keep temperatures below 2 degree C in 2100.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2016
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventSustain-ATV Conference 2016: Creating Technology for a Sustainable Society - Technical University of Denmark, Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark
Duration: 30 Nov 201630 Nov 2016


ConferenceSustain-ATV Conference 2016
LocationTechnical University of Denmark
CityKgs. Lyngby
Internet address

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