Climate Central, feat. Mark Barteau, John DeCicco
When Sarang Supekar describes how he thinks global warming will have to be stabilized, he talks in terms of sucking a lot of carbon dioxide out of the air and in a very short timeframe.
Supekar, a systems engineer at the University of Michigan, is part of a team developing a computer model that estimates how countries can stay within their carbon budgets, limiting their greenhouse gases so that the earth does not warm beyond the 2°C (3.6°F) threshold.
His research, which is ongoing and has not yet been published, is suggesting an increasingly dire situation: Countries may have only until 2026 to begin retiring most old coal-fired power plants and replacing them with 100 percent renewable power sources, or the globe is likely to blow through its carbon budget and exceed 2°C of warming.