Climate: Why a half-degree matters

Summit County Citizens Voice

Study shows why Paris climate goals are important

global temperature map March 2016 The average global temperature spiked to yet another record in March 2016.

By Bob Berwyn

VIENNA — One-half degree Celsius may barely register on a backyard thermometer, but when it comes to temperatures on a global scale, it can make all the difference in the world, according to a new study that examined the relative impacts of 1.5 degrees Celsius global warming versus 2 degrees Celsius.

At issue is the worldwide climate-change target set late last year in Paris under the COP21 agreement. The deal, now signed by more than 175 countries, aims to cap global warming somewhere between 1.5 and 2 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial level by drastically cutting greenhouse gas emissions. The new research shows why many scientists are pushing for the lower target.

A temperature increase of 2 degrees Celsius will have a much bigger impacts to…

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