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AOSC Seminar
September 13, 2018

The Efficacy of the Paris Climate Agreement

Ross Salawitch

The Paris Climate Agreement strives to limit the rise in global mean surface temperature (GMST) to 1.5°C above pre-industrial, with an upper limit of 2.0°C warming, based on a set of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to limit future emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs).  In this presentation, I will quantify the likelihood that the rise in GMST can truly be limited to either 1.5 or 2.0°C, using an empirical model of global climate developed by our research group, coupled to our analysis of future GHG emissions implied by the NDCs. The magnitude of the transition to renewable sources of energy needed to achieve the GHG reductions of the NDCs will be described.  Finally, I will touch upon the implications for emissions of GHGs due to the intransigence of the U.S. government to participate in the Paris Climate Agreement.

Some of the material will be based on our recent book, Paris Climate Agreement: Beacon of Hope. The content of this book is available via open access at