In order to assess future sea level rise and its societal impacts, we need to study climate change pathways combined with different scenarios of socioeconomic development. Here, we present sea level rise (SLR) projections for the Shared Socioeconomic Pathway (SSP) storylines and different year-2100 radiative forcing targets (FTs). Future SLR is estimated with a comprehensive SLR emulator that accounts for Antarctic rapid discharge from hydrofracturing and ice cliff instability.
Across all baseline scenario realisations (no dedicated climate mitigation), we find 2100 median SLR relative to 1986–2005 of 89 cm (likely range: 57–130 cm) for SSP1, 105 cm (73–150 cm) for SSP2, 105 cm (75–147 cm) for SSP3, 93 cm (63–133 cm) for SSP4, and 132 cm (95–189 cm) for SSP5. The 2100 sea level responses for combined SSP-FT scenarios are dominated by the mitigation targets and yield median estimates of 52 cm (34–75 cm) for FT 2.6 Wm−2, 62 cm (40–96 cm) for FT 3.4 Wm−2, 75 cm (47–113 cm) for FT 4.5 Wm−2, and 91 cm (61–132 cm) for FT 6.0 Wm−2. Average 2081–2100 annual SLR rates are 5 mm yr−1 and 19 mm yr−1 for FT 2.6 Wm−2 and the baseline scenarios, respectively.
Our model setup allows linking scenario-specific emission and socioeconomic indicators to projected SLR. We find that 2100 median SSP SLR projections could be limited to around 50 cm if 2050 cumulative CO2 emissions since pre-industrial stay below 850 GtC, with a global coal phase-out nearly completed by that time.
For SSP mitigation scenarios, a 2050 carbon price of 100 US$2005 tCO2−1 would correspond to a median 2100 SLR of around 65 cm. Our results confirm that rapid and early emission reductions are essential for limiting 2100 SLR.
Unabated: the Carbon Capture and Storage 86 billion tonne carbon bomb aimed at derailing a fossil phase out
The climate talks at COP28 have centred around the need for a fossil fuel phase out. Our analysis quantifies the risk posed by restricting a phase out commitment to only ‘unabated’ fossil fuels.
No change to warming as fossil fuel endgame brings focus onto false solutions
The CAT's annual warming estimate has risen by 0.1˚C to 2.5˚C. The estimate is largely influenced by weak existing targets rather than shifts triggered by updated Nationally Determined Contributions.
When will global greenhouse gas emissions peak?
The IPCC says peaking before 2025 is a critical step to keep the 1.5°C limit within reach. With emissions set to rise in 2023, this leaves limited time to act. To assess if we can meet this milestone, we look at when global emissions might peak, as well as what we can do to get there in time.
Wind and solar benchmarks for a 1.5°C world
This report presents a detailed methodology for determining the amount of wind and solar capacity that is required for a country to align with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C temperature goal. While the focus of the report is the method, it includes illustrative benchmarks for Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Germany, South Africa.
Carbon majors’ trillion dollar damages
In this report we explore who could pay for loss and damage through the lens of responsibility for historic emissions, and the financial gains generated from selling oil and gas.
A 1.5°C future is possible: getting fossil fuels out of the Philippine power sector
The Philippines is also one of the fastest-growing developing countries: poverty is in decline, access to energy is rising and, with that, demand for energy services. However, fossil fuels still dominate the energy system, accounting for 78% of power generation in 2022. This report sets out what the Philippines government needs to do to get the country’s power sector onto a 1.5˚C compatible emissions pathway, replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy.
State of Climate Action 2023
This report finds that global efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C are failing across the board, with recent progress made on every indicator – except electric vehicle sales – lagging behind the pace and scale needed to address the climate crisis.
Production Gap Report 2023
Governments, in aggregate, still plan to produce more than double the amount of fossil fuels in 2030 than would be consistent with limiting warming to 1.5°C. The persistence of the global production gap puts a well-managed and equitable energy transition at risk.
Emissions impossible: Unpacking CSIRO GISERA Beetaloo Middle Arm fossil gas emissions estimates
This report provides an independent evaluation of the CSIRO and GISERA assessments of the potential greenhouse gas emissions that would result from the exploitation of the Beetaloo fossil shale gas reserves.
Coastal loss and damage for small islands
This commentary on a paper in Nature Sustainability reviews how the study quantifies the impacts of sea-level rise on small island states and estimates the impacts in terms of cost, land loss and population exposure across all small islands worldwide.
Adjusting 1.5°C climate change mitigation pathways in light of adverse new information
This study uses an integrated assessment model to explore how 1.5°C pathways could adjust in light of new adverse information, such as a reduced 1.5°C carbon budget, or slower-than-expected low-carbon technology deployment.