climate models

Global Warming ‘Hiatus’ Is the Climate Change Myth That Refuses to Die

Read time: 5 mins
Calculator, globe, thermometer, graphs

By Kevin Cowtan, University of York and Stephan Lewandowsky, University of Bristol

The record-breaking, El Niño-driven global temperatures of 2016 have given climate change deniers a new trope. Why, they ask, hasn’t it since got even hotter?

In response to a recent US government report on the impact of climate change, a spokesperson for the science-denying American Enterprise Institute think-tank claimed that “we just had […] the biggest drop in global temperatures that we have had since the 1980s, the biggest in the last 100 years.”

These claims are blatantly false: the past two years were two of the three hottest on record, and the drop in temperature from 2016 to 2018 was less than, say, the drop from 1998 (a previous record hot year) to 2000. But, more importantly, these claims use the same kind of misdirection as was used a few years ago about a supposed “pause” in warming lasting from roughly 1998 to 2013.

New Scenarios Show How the World Could Limit Warming to 1.5C in 2100

Read time: 11 mins
Climate activists at COP21 in Paris

By Zeke Hausfather, Carbon Brief. Originally posted on Carbon BriefCC BY-NC-ND 4.0

In the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, nearly every country on Earth pledged to keeping global temperatures “well below” 2C above pre-industrial levels and to “pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5C”.

However, at the time, scientists had only modeled energy system and carbon mitigation pathways to achieve the 2C target. Few studies had examined how the world might limit warming to 1.5C.

Now a paper in Nature Climate Change presents the results from a new modelling exercise using six different “integrated assessment models” (IAMs) to limit global temperatures in 2100 to below 1.5C.

This Year's Model

Read time: 1 min

Climate science is not completely dependent on climate models. There are many threads of supporting evidence. Still, it is clear that climate models are telling us something important that we cannot afford to ignore. 

The Climate Change Hangover

Read time: 5 mins

Let’s assume that the Obama administration and Congress get their act together this year and make good on their pledge of enacting meaningful climate legislation by establishing the nation’s first cap-and-trade system.

Let’s further assume, for the sake of argument, that the administration, working with its international partners, succeeds in drafting a robust successor to the Kyoto Protocol at the climate talks in Copenhagen later this year.

If we accept that the U.S. climate bill, known as the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES), will accomplish its goal of bringing down emission levels 80 percent below 2005 levels by 2050—which is nothing to sneeze at when you consider that a substantial fraction of policymakers (including some Democrats) vehemently oppose the measure—then the question becomes: Will it be enough to prevent the worst of climate change?

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