Experts say the world should still be able to reach the goal of limiting warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, if the Paris emission pledges are strengthened.

A study published in Nature Geoscience finds that although meeting the 1.5°C temperature target in the Paris Agreement is not impossible, it will probably require a strengthening of current pledges for emissions reductions.

The paper suggests that the remaining allowable carbon emission budget needed to hit the target is larger than originally thought.

Human-induced warming led to global mean surface temperatures in 2015 that were about 0.93°C higher than in the mid-nineteenth century.

Researcher Richard Millar and colleagues used a simple carbon–climate model together with key properties of the climate system and the present-day climate state to assess remaining carbon budgets that are compatible with limiting warming to 1.5°C.

With ambitious mitigation of greenhouse gases other than carbon dioxide as well as continuous downward adjustments of carbon dioxide emissions, future net carbon emissions as large as 250 to 540 gigatonnes of carbon could be compatible with limiting warming to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial temperatures by 2100, the authors calculate.

They suggest that regular updates of human-induced warming based on a transparent methodology will help countries to adjust their commitment to climate change mitigation.