One Earth Climate Model
We are already seeing the devastating consequences of global warming, with ever-rising sea levels, extreme storms, prolonged droughts and intensifying bushfires. After two years of research and modelling, 17 researchers at ISF, the German Aerospace Centre and the University of Melbourne have come up with a ground-breaking new framework for achieving—and even beating—the Paris Agreement target of limiting warming to 1.5°C.
Funded by the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation (LDF), the One Earth Climate Model shows that the 1.5°C target can be achieved by 2050 through a rapid transition to 100 per cent renewables alongside a major conservation effort to increase the resilience of natural ecosystems and help ensure greater food security. It is the first model to achieve the required emissions reduction without relying on expensive or unproven technologies to draw down greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere.
Researchers, led by ISF’s Dr Sven Teske, conducted one of the most detailed climate and energy studies to date, with 72 regional energy grids in hourly increments through to 2050. The model includes a comprehensive assessment of available renewable resources such as wind and solar, and configurations for meeting projected energy demand and storage most efficiently for all sectors over the next 30 years.
Welcoming the framework, LDF founder Leonardo DiCaprio said:
This ambitious and necessary pathway shows that a transition to 100 per cent renewable energy and strong measures to protect and restore our natural ecosystems, taken together, can deliver a more stable climate within a single generation
Dr Teske said: “Scientists cannot fully predict the future, but advanced modelling allows us to map out the best scenarios for creating a global energy system fit for the 21st century. With momentum around the Paris Agreement lagging, it’s crucial that decision-makers around the world can see that we can, in fact, meet global energy demand at a lower cost with clean renewables.”
→ Explore the One Earth Climate Model website
The One Earth Climate Model is published as an open access book by Springer. To date it has been downloaded 67,000 times.
Increase capacity to generate electricity, mostly through solar and wind power. Enable the electrification of all energy uses including power, heating, transportation and industrial uses.
Increased storage capacity in the form of battery arrays and pumped hydroelectric (which uses excess generation to pump water up to a reservoir, releasing the energy when needed).
Energy efficiency—decreasing overall energy consumption, especially in the developed world, by making buildings, cities, and vehicles more efficient.
Repurposing the existing gas pipeline and storage infrastructure to deliver hydrogen produced by renewable sources.
Gradual retraining of the energy workforce to participate in the burgeoning green economy.
Reforestation and forest restoration.