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Paris Climate Agreement: Beacon of Hope

by

Ross J. Salawitch, Tim P. Canty, Austin P. Hope, Walter R. Tribett and Brian F. Bennett

University of Maryland, College Park

Springer Climate, 2017

Download PDF file from SPRINGER NATURE

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Overview:

Chapter 1 summarizes Earthís climate system, describing variations in global temperature that were largely driven by natural fluctuations in atmospheric CO2 on geological timescales. We then describe global warming over the past ~150 years and show the increase in temperature is due to the rise in CO2 from human activities.

Chapter 2 describes our empirical model of global climate and provides global warming forecasts, over the rest of this century, found using this model. We conclude the goal of the Paris Climate Agreement will likely be met if the future emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) can be placed on what is called the RCP 4.5 trajectory.

Chapter 3 examines both the unconditional (firm) and conditional (contingent on financial assistance and/or technology transfer) pledges of the Paris climate agreement. We show that if both unconditional and conditional pledges are met and if the reduction in the emission of GHGs needed to achieve the Paris pledges are extended out to year 2060, then the global emission of GHGs will remain below that of the RCP 4.5.

Chapter 4 offers a perspective of the challenges that must be met to implement the Paris Climate Agreement. To meet a forecast rise in global energy needs and to keep GHG emissions below that of RCP 4.5, about half of all global energy will need to be produced by renewable sources by year 2060.

Intended Audience:

College students, climate modelers and negotiators, as well as members of the general public with a modest scientific background.

About the Authors:

Ross Salawitch serves as Professor in the Departments of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science, Chemistry and Biochemistry, as well as the Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center at the University of Maryland. Before coming to Maryland in 2007, he served as a Research Scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Dr. Salawitch has been named as a Highly Cited Researcher in Geosciences by Thompson Scientific, which recognizes the 250 most cited researchers in the field of geosciences during the past twenty years.

Tim Canty is an Assistant Research Professor in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science at the University of Maryland. He is currently the director of the undergraduate and professional masters programs for his department. Before coming to Maryland, Dr. Canty was a postdoctoral scholar at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and a lecturer in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at UCLA.  He received his PhD from the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology.

Austin Hope is a PhD candidate in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science at the University of Maryland. Before coming to the University of Maryland, Austin earned his bachelor's degree at Washington University in St. Louis with College Honors in Arts & Sciences. He participated in the Honorary Scholars Program while majoring in Mathematics and minoring in Earth & Planetary Sciences as well as Physics.

Walter Tribett serves as Faculty Assistant in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science at the University of Maryland. Prior to this position, he graduated with a Bachelors of Science degree from the University of Maryland in 2014, earning the Henry E. Fleming Scholarship Award. In 2015 he attended the 21st Conference of the Parties meeting in Paris, as an observer for the University of Maryland delegation.

Brian Bennett serves as Faculty Assistant in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science at the University of Maryland. Brian is a beginning career atmospheric scientist and a recent graduate of the departmentís Master of Professional Studies, class of 2015. Prior to his studies at Maryland, he had earned a Bachelor of Science in Biological Anthropology at the George Washington University, in 2006, where he was a recipient of their Presidential Academic Scholarship.

Acknowledgements:

We appreciate the support of the NASA Climate Indicators and Data Products for Future National Climate Assessments program, the sponsor of the research that led to this publication. We also appreciate:

  • helpful comments provided by the detailed, anonymous reviews of our book proposal

  • feedback from many dozens of colleagues during talks on this topic given at scientific meetings as well as university colloquium

  • the tremendous support of Zachary Romano and Susan Westendorf of Springer/Nature and Aroquiadasse JoyAgnes of SPi Technologies during various phases of this book.

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This page last updated on Monday, 31 July 2017