Stringent mitigation substantially reduces risk of unprecedented near-term warming rates

McKenna, C.M., Maycock, A.C., Forster, P.M., Smith, C. ORCID:, & Tokarska, K.B. (2021). Stringent mitigation substantially reduces risk of unprecedented near-term warming rates. Nature Climate Change 11 (12) 126-131. 10.1038/s41558-020-00957-9.

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Project: Constraining uncertainty of multi decadal climate projections (CONSTRAIN, H2020 820829)


Following the Paris Agreement, many countries are enacting targets to achieve net-zero GHG emissions. Stringent mitigation will have clear societal benefits in the second half of this century by limiting peak warming and stabilizing climate. However, the near-term benefits of mitigation are generally thought to be less clear because forced surface temperature trends can be masked by internal variability. Here we use observationally constrained projections from the latest comprehensive climate models and a simple climate model emulator to show that pursuing stringent mitigation consistent with holding long-term warming below 1.5 °C reduces the risk of unprecedented warming rates in the next 20 years by a factor of 13 compared with a no mitigation scenario, even after accounting for internal variability. Therefore, in addition to long-term benefits, stringent mitigation offers substantial near-term benefits by offering societies and ecosystems a greater chance to adapt to and avoid the worst climate change impacts.

Item Type: Article
Research Programs: Energy (ENE)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 14 Dec 2020 11:22
Last Modified: 15 Mar 2022 10:13

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