Greenhouse gas emissions that have already been released will warm the Earth to a level beyond goals that have been set in international agreements, according to a new paper.
New calculations published in the journal Nature Climate Change estimate that warming based on emissions that have already happened, called “committed warming,” will cause the planet to heat up by between 2.3 degrees celsius and 2.8 degrees celsius when compared to pre-industrial levels.
In the Paris climate accords, countries agreed to the goal of limiting global warming to below 2 degrees celsius and said it would be better to limit it to 1.5 degrees celsius.
The new paper argues that some previous estimates of how much warming the Earth is committed to are undercounting.
The papers’ authors argue that those estimates don’t adequately consider changes that will occur in the interim as a factor in their calculations.
However, in a video explaining the paper’s findings, co-author Andrew Dessler said that its findings are not “game over for the climate.”
“This committed warming is a very slow process because it requires warming regions of the planet that are very slow to warm, thus, it may take centuries for the bulk of this committed warming to occur,” the Texas A&M University professor said.
He warned, however, “If we continue to emit greenhouse gases at the rate we currently are, then we will blow through the 1.5 and 2 degree celsius limits, possibly within a few decades.”
Under President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump defends indicted GOP congressman House to vote Thursday on holding Bannon in contempt Youngkin calls for investigation into Loudoun County School Board amid sexual assault allegations MORE, the U.S. pulled out of the Paris agreement. However, President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenWhite House: Window for finalizing sweeping budget package 'closing' Jayapal says tuition-free community college 'probably won't' be in spending plan Jan. 6 panel votes to hold Bannon in contempt MORE has pledged to rejoin the accord.