Climate Change

Getting help from Mother Nature

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Science  24 Nov 2017:
Vol. 358, Issue 6366, pp. 1016-1017
DOI: 10.1126/science.358.6366.1016-e

Enlisting nature's help can go a long way toward keeping a future global temperature increase below 2°C.

PHOTO: PETER ESSICK/AURORA PHOTOS

The Paris Climate Agreement established the goal of holding climate warming below 2°C, an ambitious target that will require nations to take aggressive action to reduce carbon emissions. How much help can we expect to get from the environment? Griscom et al. outline the mitigation potential offered by available “natural climate solutions,” a set of 20 conservation, restoration, and land management actions that increase carbon storage or avoid greenhouse gas emissions. They find that these natural climate solutions can provide 37% of the carbon sink through 2030 needed to meet a target with which there is a >66% chance of holding warming below 2°C.

Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 10.1073/pnas.1710465114 (2017).

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