This is What the World Looks Like if We Pass the Crucial 1.5-Degree Climate

Monday, Nov 8, 2021

There's one number heard more than any other from the podiums at the United Nations climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland: 1.5 degrees Celsius.

That's the global climate change goal world leaders agreed to strive for. By limiting the planet's warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, or 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit, by 2100, the hope is to stave off severe climate disruptions that could exacerbate hunger, conflict and drought worldwide.

"When we think about the odds, it's not simply that twice the warming gives you twice the odds," says CIMES Deputy Director Gabriel Vecchi, an AOS faculty member and professor of geosciences at Princeton University. "If we go on a path to 3 degree warming, more and more things that are unheard of or have been unheard of will become relatively commonplace."

"There are feasible pathways forward," Vecchi says. "It is not an inevitable future. There are reasons for hope, and despair, I think, is counterproductive."

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