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Michigan Scientists See Urgency for Negative Emissions

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.

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