Published By : 19 Sep 2017 | Published By : QYRESEARCH
Talk of environmental conservation and climate policy formulation has centered in recent years around the curious concept of the ‘carbon budget’. The carbon budget concept comes from a 2013 report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change studying the volume of carbon emissions humanity still “has left” to keep global temperature rise to below 2 degrees C. The report stated that mankind could emit a thousand billion more tons of carbon dioxide from 2011 onward if we were to have a chance of limiting the global temperature rise to less than 2 degrees C. However, new research from a group of prominent scientists has put the seminal findings in doubt.
A new study from 10 researchers at the University of Oxford led by Richard Millar has recalculated the carbon budget released by the IPCC and claims humanity has 700 billion tons of carbon dioxide to go to keep the global temperature rise to within 1.5 degrees C. Considering the current rate of carbon emissions across the world, this gives us a timespan of about 20 years.
The findings are likely to be scrutinized heavily by a number of parties in the coming days and months, as the research has laid hands on one of the hottest potatoes in the current political and economic dynamics. According to the team, the recalculation has become necessary because of an accumulative error manifesting itself in the best climate estimations we have. The Earth system models used by the IPCC, study co-author Joeri Rogelj says, overstate the temperature rise over past years and slightly underestimate carbon emissions, leading to skewed results.
The study seems to empower a faction of environmental science that has gained increasing political power in recent years: One claiming that while global warming and manmade climate change is reality, its rate and intensity is less than what we have previously imagined. Due to this, whether these findings stick is not certain.