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 World record temperatures infographic
Graphic shows carbon dioxide emissions compared to carbon budgets.


Just years to curb global warming

By Duncan Mil

November 1, 2023 - Without rapid carbon dioxide emission cuts, the world has only a 50% chance of limiting global temperature rises to 1.5°C above preindustrial levels before 2030, according to a new study.

The study, led by Imperial College London researchers and published in Nature Climate Change, is the most up-to-date and comprehensive analysis of the global carbon budget.

The carbon budget estimates the amount of carbon dioxide emissions while keeping global warming below certain temperature limits.

The Paris Agreement aims to limit global temperature increase to below two degrees Centigrade above preindustrial levels and pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5°C.

The remaining carbon budget assesses global progress against these targets.

The new study estimates that for a 50% chance of limiting warming to 1.5°C, there are less than 250 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide left in the global carbon budget.

“Our finding confirms what we already know -- we’re not doing nearly enough to keep warming below 1.5°C,” Dr Robin Lamboll, research fellow at the Centre for Environmental Policy at Imperial College London and the lead author of the study, said.

“The lack of progress on emissions reduction means that we can be ever more certain that the window for keeping warming to safe levels is rapidly closing,” he added.

The study also found that the carbon budget for a 50% chance of limiting warming to 2°C is approximately 1,200 gigatonnes. If carbon dioxide emissions continue at current levels, this budget will be exhausted by 2046.

PUBLISHED: 01/11/2023; STORY: Graphic News