An Evaluation of the Efficacy of the Paris Climate Agreement

DSRC entrance

Ross Salawitch, University of Maryland

Thursday, October 19, 2017, 3:30 pm Mountain Time
DSRC 2A305


The Paris Climate Agreement strives to limit the rise in global mean surface temperature (GMST) to 1.5°C above pre-industrial, with an upper limit of 2.0°C warming, based on a set of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to limit future emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs). In this talk, I will quantify the likelihood that the rise in GMST can truly be limited to either 1.5 or 2.0°C, using an empirical model of global climate developed by our research group (Canty et al., 2013; Salawitch et al., 2017) coupled to an analysis of future GHGs emissions implied by the NDCs. Our analysis of archived output from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 general circulation models used in the most recent IPCC report will also be presented. This talk will feature results from an improved treatment of transport of heat from the atmosphere to the ocean in the latest version of our model (Hope et al., manuscript in preparation). Finally, the implications for global emissions of GHGs due to the intransigence of the Trump administration to adhere to the NDC that had been submitted by the Obama administration will also be presented (Tribett et al., manuscript in preparation).


Canty, T., N. R. Mascioli, M. D. Smarte, and R. J. Salawitch, An empirical model of global climate - Part 1: A critical evaluation of volcanic cooling, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 13, 3997-4031, doi:10.5194/acp-13-3997-2013, 2013.
Salawitch, Ross J., Timothy P. Canty, Austin P. Hope, Walter R. Tribett, and Brian F. Bennett, Paris Climate Agreement: Beacon of Hope, Springer Climate, doi:10.1009/978-3-319-469393, 2017. Available via open access.

Ross Salawitch is a Professor in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science at the University of Maryland, College Park. Ross' research interests are in quantification of the effects of human activity on the composition of Earth's atmosphere by the development of computer models used to analyze a wide variety of observations. He focuses on stratospheric ozone depletion and recovery, air quality, climate, and the global carbon cycle.

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