Challenges and Approaches to meeting the Paris Agreement Goals

Location: 

302 Crew Building

Date: 

Thursday, September 14, 2017 - 14:30 to 15:30

Speaker: 

Mark Lawrence, Scientific Director, IASS Potsdam

The 2015 Paris Agreement set targets to limit “…the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, recognizing that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change.” Current emissions reduction efforts and future commitments are insufficient to meet these targets. As a result, there is increasing discussion and scrutiny of so-called “climate engineering” approaches to compliment emissions reductions. The recent European Trans-disciplinary Assessment of Climate Engineering (EU-Trace) project undertook a review of such proposed approaches. This considered both the removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere (Carbon Dioxide Removal), and geoengineering aimed at directly altering the Earth’s radiation budget (Radiative Forcing Geoengineering), exploring the state of knowledge, potentials, impacts and uncertainties. 

In this talk I examine four aspects of these issues:

  • The remaining carbon budget until the global mean surface temperature is expected to be committed to exceeding 1.5°C or 2°C;
  • The role of non-CO2 gases and particles in climate change;
  • The viability of ideas for Carbon Dioxide Removal;
  • And the “if all else fails” discussion around Radiative Forcing Geoengineering. 

Does our knowledge of atmospheric science provide hope, or are we now faced with multiple “inconvenient truths”?

Organised by : 

Vivian Scott

Event Contact Email: 

vivian.scott@ed.ac.uk