Friday, September 15, 2017 at 12:15pm
The recent Paris agreements set the goal of reaching only 2 degrees of warming, and included provisions for carbon dioxide emission cuts which were voluntary from different countries. Although these emission reduction targets were the tightest proposed yet, the voluntary reductions are not sufficient to reach the 2 degree target, much more action on sustainable energy conversion is required, as is well known. In addition, reductions in aerosol emissions to improve air quality, as well as ongoing conversion of land to agriculture will make low temperature targets more difficult to achieve, because of their impacts on climate and biogeochemistry.
Professor Natalie Mahowald is currently Faculty Director for the Environment at the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future, as well as a faculty member in the Earth and Atmospheric Science Department. She works on the intersection of climate, aerosols and biogeochemistry, and has been a lead author on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Assessment reports.