Rather than abandoning 2°C (3.6°F) as the target for limiting global average temperature rise due to climate change, policy-makers might adopt an even tougher target if they heeded the latest science, Grist columnist David Roberts argued last week.
That conclusion put Roberts and many other noted climate specialists at odds with a paper in the journal Nature, in which two academics argued for abandoning the target in favour of a more nuanced set of measures.
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“If anything, 2° is too high,” Roberts writes. “Science has progressed since 2°C was adopted, and what it has generally found is that severe impacts are likely to arrive at lower temperatures than expected.” Moreover, “there is immense political logic behind a single line in the sand. The reason the target has persisted despite the science changing is that it’s become sticky,” and “that’s a good thing.”