AI says 1.5°C is out of reach

It also warns that if emissions aren’t curbed, 2°C could be hit by mid-century

Big Zero Report 2022

The world is likely to surpass 1.5°C of warming within the next decade.

That’s according to artificial intelligence (AI) used in research by Stanford University and Colorado State University, which predicted when the world is likely to warm and by how much.

In addition to this, the AI estimates there to be a 50% chance of the Earth warming above 2°C by 2050.

The Paris Agreement saw a target set to limit global warming to below 1.5°C – but this is supposedly not only expected to fail within the decade, the ‘tipping point’ of 2°C is also within reach.

The AI system was used to analyse the relationship between climate modelling data and temperature increases.

Noah Diffenbaugh from Stanford University said: “This new study, using a new method, adds to the evidence that we certainly will face continuing changes in climate that intensify the impacts we are already feeling.

“We have very clear evidence of the impact on different ecosystems from the 1°C of global warming that’s already happened.”

Even if greenhouse emissions are quashed significantly, the AI predicts there to be a 70% chance that the ‘tipping point’ is exceeded between 2044 and 2065.

To ratify its findings, the scientists gave the predictor historical data from the last 40 years and it predicted the correct level of heating of 1.1°C from 1980 to 2022.

In describing the impact of 2°C as opposed to 1.5°C, the UN explained that this 0.5°C could see three times the amount of insects disappear, as well as twice the amount of plant habitats.

Professor Diffenbaugh added: “Our AI model is quite convinced that there has already been enough warming that 2°C is likely to be exceeded if reaching net zero emissions takes another half-century.

“Net zero pledges are often framed around achieving the Paris Agreement 1.5°C goal. Our results suggest that those ambitious pledges might be needed to avoid 2°C.”

The scientists involved in the study stressed that it was not all doom and gloom; that the findings should be seen as a warning to act quickly and get the “big ship to turn around.”

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