24 September 2010
Members of the United Nations are in growing agreement that to avoid the worst affects of climate change, the world will need to limit the rise in global average temperature to 2 degrees Celsius. What will it take to meet that target?
The AVOID Programme was started in the United Kingdom to provide policy-makers with answers to questions like this and others about climate change. Scientists from the Met Office Hadley Centre, the Tyndall Centre, the Grantham Institute at Imperial College who contribute to AVOID, along with researchers from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) based in Boulder, Colorado held a Congressional briefing last week in Washington D.C. to share some of their results.
They find that to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, countries will need to take quick action to reduce carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases so that emissions drop off after 2020.
Brian O’Neill, who leads the Integrated Assessment Modeling Group at NCAR was part of the panel, says we only have another 10 to 20 years to stop increasing atmospheric levels of emissions of carbon dioxide and to begin taking it out of the bringing global emissions down.