Posted: 08 May 2017 03:49 PM PDT full ScienceDaily article here
What appears to be a recent change to a positive phase of the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation is likely to accelerate global warming, breaking through the agreed Paris target of 1.5°C by as early as 2026.
Since 1999, the IPO has been in a negative phase but consecutive record-breaking warm years in 2014, 2015 and 2016 have led climate researchers to suggest this may have changed. In the past, these positive phases have coincided with accelerated global warming.
“Even if the IPO remains in a negative phase, our research shows we will still likely see global temperatures break through the 1.5°C guardrail by 2031,” said lead author Dr Ben Henley. “If the world is to have any hope of meeting the Paris target, governments will need to pursue policies that not only reduce emissions but remove carbon from the atmosphere.”
“Should we overshoot the 1.5°C limit, we must still aim to bring global temperatures back down and stabilise them at that level or lower.”..In the past, we have seen positive IPOs from 1925-1946 and again from 1977-1998. These were both periods that saw rapid increases in global average temperatures. The world experienced the reverse — a prolonged negative phase — from 1947-1976, when global temperatures stalled….
Dr Henley said…”Policy makers should be aware of just how quickly we are approaching 1.5°C. The task of reducing emissions is very urgent indeed.”
Benjamin J. Henley, Andrew D. King. Trajectories toward the 1.5°C Paris target: Modulation by the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation. Geophysical Research Letters, 2017; DOI: 10.1002/2017GL073480