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Uncertainty in near-term temperature evolution must not obscure assessments of climate mitigation benefits
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  • Alexandrine Lanson,
  • Peter Pfleiderer,
  • Flavio Lehner,
  • Carl-Friedrich Schleussner
Alexandrine Lanson
Climate Analytics
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Peter Pfleiderer
Humboldt University
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Flavio Lehner
ETH Z├╝rich
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Carl-Friedrich Schleussner
Climate Analytics

Corresponding Author:carl.schleussner@climateanalytics.org

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Abstract

In a recent study, Samset et al. reported that due to the imprint of natural variability, the effects of emission mitigation will only be perceived through global temperature with a multi-decadal delay. Their analysis, also including a decomposition into the effects of mitigating individual climate forcers, is highly relevant and timely, but does not fully substantiate all conclusions made by the authors. Here, we provide essential context around the findings by Samset et al. of multi-decadal delays of mitigation benefits. We also express concerns with their conceptual approach towards assessing a discernible warming response under different greenhouse gas concentration pathways. A broader debate on how to best assess and communicate emerging effects of climate mitigation in the light of natural variability seems warranted.