This chapter discusses how much anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions we can still emit if we want to live within the 2-degree limit that we’ve set using the concept of the carbon budget. A carbon budget is the maximum level of cumulative carbon that is released over time as opposed to just emission over a given year. Carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and fluorinated gases all remain in the atmosphere for very different amounts of time and therefore, have very different effects on climate change. Since carbon dioxide stays in the atmosphere for a long time, it is used to estimated the cumulative level of emissions over time. The level of cumulative greenhouse gas emissions, measured in tons of CO2 equivalent, their long-term concentrations and radiative forcing, and the resulting mean surface temperature responses as increases in global average temperature are used to describe the relationship between greenhouse gas emissions and temperature. Since there is uncertainty in terms of the relationship between cumulative emissions and the resulting temperature increase, we speak in terms of probability, looking for a chance of two-thirds or higher. This video is part of the module The 2-Degree Carbon Budget.
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