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.

In line with the recent IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C, the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) has updated its Carbon Clock.
In 2015, with the Paris Climate Agreement, all nations around the world set themselves the goal of limiting global warming to well below 2°C (preferably 1.5°C) compared to pre-industrial levels. An ambitious goal.
 
The Special Report of October 2018 presents new figures: The atmosphere can absorb no more than 420 gigatonnes (Gt) of CO2 if we are to stay below the 1.5°C threshold. However, since around 42 Gt of CO2 is emitted globally every year—the equivalent of 1332 tonnes per second—this budget is expected to be used up in just over nine years. The budget for staying below the 2°C threshold, for its part, of approximately 1170 Gt, will be exhausted in about 26 years.

Thus, the clock keeps ticking and shows how little time is left for political decision-makers to  take action. Navigating the MCC website allows for an interactive understanding of the time frame of action required for a given political goal.

With just one click, the upper left-hand corner leads you to the scenario for the 2°C target, and the upper right-hand corner to the 1.5°C target. In both cases, the clock shows the remaining carbon budget—and the remaining time.

While the Carbon Clock appears to be a precise measurement of the time left to ensure climate protection, many uncertainty factors remain, such as different definitions of the 1.5°C target as well as different assumptions about the climate sensitivity, the actually attained degree of global warming, and the future development of other greenhouse gases. Furthermore, the calculation assumes that the annual emissions of years to come will be close to those of the year 2017, while latest numbers show that emissions are still on the rise.


By using the following line of HTML code you can embed the MCC carbon clock into your website:
<iframe src="https://www.mcc-berlin.net/fileadmin/data/clock/carbon_clock.htm" height="360px"></iframe>



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