Climate Change Could Be Kept In Check if Fossils Fuels Phased Out Now, Study Says

sexta-feira, janeiro 18, 2019

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We still may have time to keep climate change in check but only if we immediately begin phasing out fossil fuels, a new study says.

Researchers for a study published Tuesday in the journal Nature say it's still possible to keep global warming below the critical threshold of 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-Industrial levels but only if the world commits to the complete elimination of fossil fuels.

“Although the challenges laid out by the Paris Agreement are daunting, we indicate 1.5C remains possible and is attainable with ambitious and immediate emission reduction across all sectors," lead author and University of Leeds researcher Christopher Smith wrote in the study.

The researchers used computer models to simulate different fossil fuel scenarios and concluded that there was a 64 percent chance of keeping global warming below the 1.5 degree Celsius threshold. But only if the world immediately commits to a massive program to rid the planet of fossil fuels within the next four decades.

That means that within the next 40 years, all planes, vehicles and power plants that run on fossil fuels would have to be phased out at their end of their natural lives and replaced with zero-carbon alternatives that rely on renewable energy sources.

Even those in the air travel industry would have to develop alternative methods of fueling planes. There are currently no practical alternatives to kerosene aviation fuel.

Smith noted that any new investment into carbon-intensive infrastructure would lock the world into surpassing the 1.5 degrees Celsius threshold.

“Investments into carbon-intensive infrastructure and their development and maintenance lock us in to the associated carbon emissions and make the transition to lower-carbon alternatives more difficult," Smith said in a press release.

“Every year we delay in phasing out this infrastructure makes the fossil fuel ‘lock-in’ harder to get out of and the possibility of keeping global temperature rise below 1.5°C less likely,” he added.

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