A major new study from the University of Washington claims that we only have a 5 percent change of avoiding catastrophic climate change.
A disturbing new study from scientists at the University of Washington claims that mankind and life on Earth in general is in big trouble. Researchers estimate that there is just a 5 percent chance that Earth will warm 2 degrees or less by the end of the century, the threshold beyond which experts believe we’ll see catastrophic results to our planet.
The 2-degree threshold was set at the Paris climate meetings and has been widely cited as a necessary target if the worst effects of global warming are to be avoided. But this paper suggests that a rise of 2 degrees would be the best case scenario for Earth, and to achieve even that would take a tremendous amount of sustained effort on all fronts over the rest of the 21st century.
While there’s still time to correct the problem, time is quickly running out, scientists believe. And with President Trump recently pulling out of the climate accord and a lot of skepticism about the problem still permeating through society, scientists worry that we’ve already run out of time to convince the public.
“Our analysis shows that the goal of 2 degrees is very much a best-case scenario,” said lead author Adrian Raftery, a UW professor of statistics and sociology. “It is achievable, but only with major, sustained effort on all fronts over the next 80 years.
“Our analysis is compatible with previous estimates, but it finds that the most optimistic projections are unlikely to happen,” Raftery said. “We’re closer to the margin than we think.”