A pair of Concordia University climate scientists have concluded that, despite many nations’ efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius by the middle of this century will not be met. H. Damon Matthews and Seth Wynes reviewed the current global climate system and compared it to efforts to reduce CO2 emissions in their paper, which was published in the journal Science.
Scientists all over the world agree that greenhouse gas emissions, particularly carbon dioxide, are causing the planet to warm. Because of the dangers that such warming poses, people all over the world have been working to reduce emissions. Previous research has suggested that these emissions have already resulted in a 1.25-degree Celsius increase. As a result, governments all over the world have agreed to set a goal of reducing CO2 emissions over the next three decades in order to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The researchers discovered little to no evidence that the goal will be met during their review.
Matthes and Wynes examined research describing the current state of the global climate system in their work. As part of that effort, they looked at past trends that led to the observed warming increases, as well as efforts by others to use such data to predict future warming based on different levels of greenhouse gas emissions. They examined global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and used them to make estimates about their impact on slowing global warming.
Finally, the pair concluded that, given current conditions, there is almost no chance of meeting the 1.5 degree Celsius target. They point out that in order to meet that target, emissions would have to fall by roughly 43 percent by 2030, whereas emissions are still rising. According to them, the primary barriers to success are a lack of a proper global technological system and political will to effect change. They conclude that the world is simply not serious about meeting the 1.5 degree Celsius target.