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ESD | Articles | Volume 9, issue 3
Earth Syst. Dynam., 9, 1085-1095, 2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Earth Syst. Dynam., 9, 1085-1095, 2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 30 Aug 2018

Research article | 30 Aug 2018

The point of no return for climate action: effects of climate uncertainty and risk tolerance

Matthias Aengenheyster et al.
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Cited articles  
Allen, M. R., Frame, D. J., Huntingford, C., Jones, C. D., Lowe, J. A., Meinshausen, M., and Meinshausen, N.: Warming caused by cumulative carbon emissions towards the trillionth tonne, Nature, 458, 1163–1166,, 2009. a, b
Clarke, L. E., Edmonds, J. A., Jacoby, H. D., Pitcher, H. M., Reily, J. M., and Richels, R. G.: Scenarios of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Atmospheric Concentrations Synthesis, Tech. rep., Department of Energy, Office of Biological & Environmental Research, Washington, DC, 2007. a
Dijkstra, H. A.: Nonlinear Clim. Dynam., Cambridge University Press, Cambridge,, 2013. a
Fujino, J., Nair, R., Kainuma, M., Masui, T., and Matsuoka, Y.: Multi-gas Mitigation Analysis on Stabilization Scenarios Using Aim Global Model, Energ. J., 2006, 343–354,, 2006. a
Haustein, K., Otto, F. E. L., Uhe, P., Schaller, N., Allen, M. R., Hermanson, L., Christidis, N., McLean, P., and Cullen, H.: Real-time extreme weather event attribution with forecast seasonal SSTs, Environ. Res. Lett., 11, 064006,, 2016. a
Publications Copernicus
Short summary
We determine the point of no return (PNR) for climate change, which is the latest year to take action to reduce greenhouse gases to stay, with a certain probability, within thresholds set by the Paris Agreement. For a 67 % probability and a 2 K threshold, the PNR is the year 2035 when the share of renewable energy rises by 2 % per year. We show the impact on the PNR of the speed by which emissions are cut, the risk tolerance, climate uncertainties and the potential for negative emissions.
We determine the point of no return (PNR) for climate change, which is the latest year to take...