Students on a theater trip in Iceland.


Climate Change Guest Lecture

Tuesday, April 18, 2017 - 17:30

"Climate change in a populists' world: can we meet the goals of the Paris Agreement without a World Government?"

Myles Allen is Professor of Geosystem Science in the Environmental Change Institute, School of Geography and the Environment and Department of Physics, University of Oxford, and co-Director of the Oxford Martin Net Zero Carbon Investment Initiative. His research focuses on how human and natural influences on climate contribute to observed climate change risks of extreme weather and in quantifying their implications for long-range climate forecasts. He is currently a Coordinating Lead Author on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Special Report on 1.5 degrees threshold, having served as lead author on the IPCC's 3rd, 4th and 5th Assessment reports.

His guest lecture will address the IPCC 5th Assessment report (AR5), which gave a cumulative budget from 2011 of 400GtCO2 for global temperatures to remain "likely below" 1.5 oC, about half of which has already been emitted since 2011. Does this mean we are only a few years away from "blowing the 1.5oC carbon budget", suggesting that the only realistic way to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement is through geoengineering planetary albedo? Professor Allen will argue that the AR5 budget looks pessimistic if we take into account both cumulative carbon emissions and human-induced warming to date, particularly if we assume that emissions are continuously adjusted in future to meet the 1.5oC long-term temperature goal,as the Paris Agreement sets out to do, so talk of the inevitability of geoengineering is both premature and irresponsible.

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