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World Temperature Could Rise 1.5°C by 2020

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Global warming could occur more quickly than expected, according to modelling published in PLoS One (

The model, developed by Prof Ben Hankamer of The University of Queensland’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience and Dr Liam Wagner of Griffith University, forecasts that population and economic growth combined with rising energy use per person could significantly increase global energy demand and CO2 emissions, causing world average temperatures to rise by 1.5°C as early as 2020.

“Nations at the 2015 UN Conference on Climate Change agreed to keep the rise in global average temperature below 2°C, preferably limiting it to 1.5° to protect island states,” Hankamer said. “Our model shows we may have less time left than expected to prevent world temperature from rising above these thresholds.

“World population is forecast to increase to over nine billion people by 2050, which, together with international ‘pro-growth’ strategies, will lead to continually increasing energy demand.”

Wagner said that the model challenged the assumption that increases in energy efficiency and conversion would offset increases in demand. “We have successfully applied our model to world energy demand from 1950–2010, and demonstrated that increases in energy efficiency alone...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.