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- We are running out of time!

- Click on '1.5'C scenario' (top right of image')...!!

That’s how fast the carbon clock is ticking


The MCC Carbon Clock shows how much CO2 can be released into the atmosphere to limit global warming to a maximum of 1.5°C and 2°C, respectively. With just a few clicks, you can compare the estimates for both temperature targets and see how much time is left in each scenario.

As to the scientific basis of the carbon clock, we exclusively draw on data from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which represents the verified state of research. The IPCC last updated its estimate of the remaining carbon budget in autumn 2018, with the presentation of its Special Report on "Global Warming of 1.5°C". The next update of the carbon clock is likely to be in light of the IPCC's Sixth Assessment Report, whose synthesis report will be published in 2022.

According to the Special Report, on the 1.5 degree target, the atmosphere can absorb, calculated from end-2017, no more than 420 gigatonnes (Gt) of CO2 if we are to stay below the 1.5°C threshold. Annual emissions of CO2 – from burning fossil fuels, industrial processes and land-use change – are estimated to be around 42 Gt per year, the equivalent of 1,332 tonnes per second. With emissions at a constant level, the budget would be expected to be used up in less than seven years from now. The budget for staying below the 2°C threshold, for its part, of approximately 1,170 Gt, would be exhausted in about 25 years.

mcc-berlin webpage

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