Published on March 10th, 2016 | by Joshua S Hill20
World Average Temperature Could Rise By 1.5 Degrees As Early As 2020
March 10th, 2016 by Joshua S Hill
A new study based on new modeling has shown that the average global temperature could rise by 1.5 degrees as early as 2020.
According to a new study published by researchers from the University of Queensland and Griffith University in Australia, global warming could occur much more quickly than previously thought. The study is based on a new first-of-its-kind model which includes “energy use per person” as a predictive factor, rather than solely on economics or populations. The model forecasts that population and economic growth, combined with rising energy use per person could dramatically impact global energy demand, and subsequently CO2 emissions, making for an increase in the global average temperature by 1.5 degrees as early as 2020.
“Nations at the 2015 UN Conference on Climate Change agreed to keep the rise in global average temperature below 2 degrees Celsius, preferably limiting it to 1.5 degrees to protect island states,” said Professor Hankamer, who along with Dr Liam Wagner developed the model. “Our model shows we may have less time left than expected to prevent world temperature from rising above these thresholds.”
“World population is forecast to increase to over 9 billion people by 2050, which, together with international ‘pro-growth’ strategies, will lead to continually increasing energy demand.”
As a result, according to Professor Hankamer, the global energy sector must transition away from fossil fuel-based energy sources towards renewable energy sources in an attempt to control global temperature averages.
“The sun is by far the largest renewable energy source,” said Hankamer, a professor from the University of Queensland’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience. “In just two hours it delivers enough solar energy to the Earth’s surface to power the entire global economy for a year – and now is the time to make the switch.”
Hankamer also believes there currently exists a quick first step to bolster such a transition. “A cost-neutral strategy that governments should consider to fast track this transition is diverting the $500 billion used to subsidise the fossil fuel industry internationally to assist the global renewable sector.”
“We have a choice: leave people in poverty and speed towards dangerous global warming through the increased use of fossil fuels, or transition rapidly to renewables,” added Dr Liam Wagner, who partnered with Professor Hankamer in developing the model. “As 80 per cent of world energy is used as fuels and only 20 per cent as electricity, renewable fuels in particular will be critical.”
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