The 2015 Paris Agreement of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change has the stated aim "to hold the increase in global average temperature to well below 2°C and to pursue efforts to limit the increase to 1.5°C".

As part of the Paris Agreement, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was asked to prepare a special report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emissions pathways. The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) funded a research programmeref1 in 2016 to inform the IPCC special report and /or UK domestic climate policy.

The Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH), the Universities of Exeter and Reading and BEIS organised a workshop recently to brief UK government policy-makers on the project outputs from this programme. The workshop was timely as it was held during the final government review of the IPCC Special Report on 1.5°C Warming. The workshop was attended by 45 participants from the academic research and policy communities.

All 10 of the funded NERC Warming projects gave presentations of the key findings and policy-relevant outcomes of the research. Short presentations of related research were also given by David Hendry (University of Oxford) and Edward Comyn-Platt (CEH).

The workshop presentations are available as PDFs by clicking the links below:
  1. Quantifying the cumulative carbon emissions consistent with a 1.5C global warming
    (Project Investigator: Pierre Friedlingstein, University of Exeter)

  2. Climate feedbacks from wetlands and permafrost thaw in a warming world
    (Project Investigator: Garry Hayman, Centre for Ecology & Hydrology)

  3. Methane, Ozone and the Carbon Budget for 1.5 degrees
    (Project Investigator: William Collins, University of Reading)

  4. Climate, Land-Use, and Ecosystem Services at 1.5C
    (Project Investigator: Peter Cox, University of Exeter)

  5. Carbon Uptake Revisited - Biases Corrected using Ocean Observations
    (Project Investigator: Paul Halloran, University of Exeter)

  6. Plausible policy pathways to Paris
    (Project Investigator: Neil Edwards, Open University)

  7. Defining ADJUSTable (emission) pathways to 1.5 degrees C warming, and assessing their feasibility, physical consequences and impacts
    (Project Investigator: Philip Goodwin, University of Southampton)

  8. Implications of the Paris Agreement for Biodiversity and Conservation Planning
    (Project Investigator: Rachel Warren, University of East Anglia)

  9. Sea level rise trajectories by 2200 with warmings of 1.5 to 2 degrees C
    (Project Investigator: Svetlana Jevrejeva, National Oceanography Centre)

  10. Thresholds for the future of the Greenland ice-sheet
    (Project Investigator: Jonathan Gregory, University of Reading)

Additional presentations

  1. Modelling the UK's CO2 Emissions
    (David Hendry, University of Oxford)

The IPCC Special Report on 1.5°C warming has now been approved and was issued on 8 October 2018ref2. The report has received media attention from across the world. It illustrates that missing this target will bring climate impacts for many parts of society that will be difficult to adapt to. The report also acknowledges, though, the difficulty of emissions policy to keep warming to low levels.

The projects listed above, and associated research publications, contributed to this IPCC special report.

Dr Garry Hayman

For further information contact Dr Garry Hayman, Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, email: garr@ceh.ac.uk


1 http://gotw.nerc.ac.uk/list_them.asp?them=One+and+a+Half+Degrees

2 http://www.ipcc.ch/report/sr15/