And we have a 5 percent chance of achieving it apparently.
"Overall, the goals expressed in the Paris Agreement are ambitious but realistic", Raftery said.
Analyzing 50 years of past data gathered from countries around the world, as well as the United Nations and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the researchers modeled their own statistically based projections, focusing primarily on total world population, economic trends, and carbon emissions.
The approach is different from that taken by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), whose most recent report included future warming rates based on four carbon emission scenarios. According to the latest analysis, there is a 90 percent chance Earth will warm by 2.0 to 4.9 degrees Celsius by the end of the century. Using statistical projections based on 50 years' worth of past data in countries around the world, they found just a 5 percent chance that Earth will warm by 2 degrees or less in the next eight decades.
"The likely range of global temperature increase is 2.0-4.9 [degrees Celsius] and our median forecast is 3.2 C", noted Adrian Raftery, author of the study and professor of statistics and sociology at the University of Washington, according to CNN.
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"Our analysis shows that the goal of 2 degrees is very much a best-case scenario."
The Paris agreement is less accurate, its signatories will be setting a goal that emissions should reach their peak "as soon as possible".
"Countries argued for the 1.5 degrees Celsius target because of the severe impacts on their livelihoods that would result from exceeding that threshold", said Dargan Frierson, a UW associate professor of atmospheric sciences.
"It is achievable, but only with major, sustained effort on all fronts over the next 80 years", Raftery explained in a university news release. The researchers also found that if fossil emissions continue for 15 more years, the planet's global temperature could rise as much as 3 degrees Celsius. We already have gone through a 1.5 degrees Celsius warming out of the 2 ones earlier mentioned.
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The U.N. estimates that the global population will increase from about 7.5 billion today to 11.2 billion by 2100, putting additional pressure on energy resources.
The knock-on effects from this could be extraordinary - and fatal - suggested another study in Nature Climate Change.
Led by scientists from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the research uses results from several of the leading climate change modeling groups to estimate the number of premature deaths that would stem from particulate matter and ozone in 2030 and 2100.
However, the growing population is likely not to have a very large impact on carbon emissions.
In the new study, Raftery expected to find that higher populations would increase the projections for global warming.
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The Ipcc, the worldwide panel of experts whose work reference on climate change recommends a reduction of 40 to 70% of the emissions of greenhouse gases from fossil fuels by 2050 compared to their 2010 level.