The 2° Target

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Spiegel Online  International ∗ April 01, 2010 – 05:00 PM

Climate Catastrophe: A Superstorm For Global Research

By Marco Evers, Olaf Stampf and Gerald Traufetter

Part 8: The Invention of the Two-Degree Target

“A group of German scientists, yielding to political pressure, invented an easily digestible message in the mid-1990s: the two-degree target.

But this is scientific nonsense.

“Two degrees is not a magical limit — it’s clearly a political goal,” says Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK).

“The world will not come to an end right away in the event of stronger warming, nor are we definitely saved if warming is not as significant.

The reality, of course, is much more complicated.”

Schellnhuber ought to know.

He is the father of the two-degree target.

“Yes, I plead guilty,” he says, smiling.

The idea didn’t hurt his career. In fact, it made him Germany’s most influential…

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