A new study found that global temperature is likely to rise more than 2 degrees Celsius by the end of the century. The study was published Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change.
A second study also published Monday in Nature Climate Change, found that even if humans stopped burning fossil fuels right now, Earth would continue to heat up at least two degrees by 2100.
Both studies used different approaches and methodologies but concluded that Earth is on the brink of heating into a point of no return, which will have severe consequences for the environment and the billions of people in the world.
Earth could see its temperature rise as up to 3 degrees by 2100
The first study employed statistical analysis and found there’s a 95 percent chance that our planet will heat up more than 2 degrees by the end of the century. The researchers noted there’s only a 1 percent chance the temperature will only increase less than 1.5 degrees Celsius.
“The likely range of global temperature increase is 2.0-4.9 [degrees Celsius] and our median forecast is 3.2 C,” noted Adrian Raftery, author of the study and professor of statistics and sociology at the University of Washington, according to CNN. “Our model is based on data which already show the effect of existing emission mitigation policies.”
Raftery explained that achieving the goal of less than 1.5 C warming would “require carbon intensity to decline much faster than in the recent past.”
Meanwhile, the second study focused on analyzing past emissions of greenhouse gases and the burning of fossil fuels. The researchers also found that if fossil emissions continue for 15 more years, the planet’s global temperature could rise as much as 3 degrees Celsius.
“Even if we would stop burning fossil fuels today, then the Earth would continue to warm slowly,” Thorsten Mauritsen, author of the second study, told CNN. “It is this committed warming that we estimate.”
Public policies need to change to mitigate outcomes of global warming
The first study used data from 152 countries, including population, carbon emissions, and gross domestic data over the past 50 years. The data was compiled up to 2015 and accounted for 98.7 percent of the world’s population.
Raftery said that his team found that population, surprisingly, was not a factor that affected global temperature.
“This is due to the fact that much of the expected future population growth will be in Africa, in countries whose carbon emissions are currently very low,” said Raftery.
Mauritsen, author of the second study, noted that even though CO2 has a long lifetime in the atmosphere, the ocean’s absorption capacity could reduce estimates of global warming by 0.2 degrees C. Mauritsen and his co-author, Robert Pincus, arrived at an estimated warming of 1.3 degrees by 2100, along with the estimated ocean factor of 1.1 degrees C.
The researchers of both studies concluded that to prevent some of the outcomes foreseen in their investigations, is necessary to change public policies, by shifting towards cleaner and more environmental-friendly sources of power.