Meeting 2-degree warming target requires immediate action
Even without El Niño, Nov. 2012 temps were far above average across most of the globe. Graphic courtesy NASA.
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Delaying meaningful action on climate change is tempting, but will likely prove to be very costly in the long run, an international group of researchers warned this week in an article in Nature Climate Change.
The easiest path is to reaching the targeted 2-degree cap in global temperatire increases would be to significantly cut greenhouse gas emissions. If that doesn’t happen by 2020, the goal is still attainable, but at a much greater cost, with much higher climate risks and and under exceedingly optimistic assumptions about future technologies.
Timely cuts in emissions leaves more doors open in the long run, said the researchers from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Laxenburg, Austria, ETH Zurich in Switzerland, and the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder.
The researchers say this is what needs to happen sooner, rather than later:
Nuclear power would need to remain on the table as a mitigation option, or people would need to quickly adopt advanced technology strategies, including electric vehicles and highly efficient energy end-use technologies such as appliances, buildings, and transportation. Meanwhile, coal-fired power plants would need to be rapidly shut down and replaced with other energy sources.
“You would need to shut down a coal power plant each week for ten years if you still wanted to reach the two-degree Celsius target,” said IIASA energy program leader Keywan Riahi, who also worked on the study. (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming | Tagged: climate change, Environment, global warming, Greenhouse gas, National Center for Atmospheric Research | 4 Comments »