Limiting the Planet to 1.5 Degrees C of Warming Is Crucial, but It Won’t Be Easy

By Clive Hamilton | Scientific American

Astonishment was universal last December when the Paris Agreement on climate change included the aspiration to limit warming to 1.5° C above pre-industrial levels, a much tougher target than the standard of 2°, now seen as too risky.

It was a remarkable triumph for a long campaign by the small island states, proving that even tiny nations with a powerful moral case can change the world.

But what does a global aim of 1.5° mean? Is it achievable? How much difference would it make? A conference at the University of Oxford this week has brought together leading scientists to begin to answer these questions.

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