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Modelling assumptions rather than peak warming determine CO 2 removal needs in 1.5°C pathways
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  • Carl-Friedrich Schleussner,
  • Gaurav Ganti,
  • Joeri Rogelj,
  • Matthew Gidden
Carl-Friedrich Schleussner
Climate Analytics, Climate Analytics

Corresponding Author:carl.schleussner@climateanalytics.org

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Gaurav Ganti
Climate Analytics
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Joeri Rogelj
Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Environment and Centre for Environmental Policy, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom
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Matthew Gidden
Climate Analytics,International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis
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Greenhouse gas emission pathways that are aligned with the goals of the Paris Agreement generally deploy some kind of carbon dioxide removal, but the scale of deployment varies greatly between different pathways. In particular, pathways associated with limiting warming to 1.5°C are often linked to large scale deployment of carbon removal raising questions with regard to their plausibility and sustainability. However, the categorization applied in the Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C (SR15) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), on which these assessments are based, group together emission pathways with very different long-term assumptions. Here I show that the scale of CDR deployed depends much less on peak warming, and therefore the chance to limit warming to 1.5°C, than on the long-term assumptions in emission scenarios. Limiting warming to 1.5°C might thus depend less on large scale CDR deployment than often assumed.