Science

Admitting we may fail to hit 1.5°C can help us tackle

Wind turbines stand in front of the rising sun in Frankfurt, Germany, . A United Nation-backed panel plans to release a highly anticipated scientific report on Monday, April 4, 2022, on international efforts to curb climate change before global temperatures reach dangerous levels UN Climate Report, Frankfurt, Germany - 11 Mar 2022

Michael Probst/AP/Shutterstock

NEGOTIATORS from nearly 200 countries are meeting in Bonn, Germany, to discuss how to put the world on track for its climate change ambitions. Chief among those is holding global warming to 1.5°C.

Scientists maintain that the temperature target is still achievable, in the sense that hitting it wouldn’t require breaking the physical laws of science.

But the 1.5°C goal has long since moved beyond these realms, into the arena of politics. Here, most climate researchers fear to tread. They say their job is to lay out the evidence and model scenarios estimating the planet’s thermostat depending on how …


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