External Publications

Scenarios towards limiting global mean temperature increase below 1.5 °C

Authors: Rogelj, Joeri & Popp, Alexander & V. Calvin, Katherine & Luderer, Gunnar & Emmerling, Johannes & Gernaat, David & Fujimori, Shinichiro & Strefler, Jessica & Hasegawa, Tomoko & Marangoni, Giacomo & Krey, Volker & Kriegler, Elmar & Riahi, Keywan & Vuuren, Detlef & Doelman, Jonathan & Drouet, Laurent & Edmonds, Jae & Fricko, Oliver & Harmsen, J.H.M. & Tavoni, Massimo
Type: Journal
Pages: Volume 8, Pages 325–332
Published in: Nature Climate Change
Date: 2018


The 2015 Paris Agreement calls for countries to pursue efforts to limit global-mean temperature rise to 1.5 °C. The transition pathways that can meet such a target have not, however, been extensively explored. Here we describe scenarios that limit end-of-century radiative forcing to 1.9 W m−2, and consequently restrict median warming in the year 2100 to below 1.5 °C. We use six integrated assessment models and a simple climate model, under different socio-economic, technological and resource assumptions from five Shared Socio-economic Pathways (SSPs). Some, but not all, SSPs are amenable to pathways to 1.5 °C. Successful 1.9 W m−2 scenarios are characterized by a rapid shift away from traditional fossil-fuel use towards large-scale low-carbon energy supplies, reduced energy use, and carbon-dioxide removal. However, 1.9 W m−2 scenarios could not be achieved in several models under SSPs with strong inequalities, high baseline fossil-fuel use, or scattered short-term climate policy. Further research can help policy-makers to understand the real-world implications of these scenarios.

Scenarios towards limiting global mean temperature increase below 1.5 °C

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