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The geographical distribution of fossil fuels unused when limiting global warming to 2 °C.

Overview of attention for article published in Nature, January 2015
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • Among the highest-scoring outputs from this source (#45 of 46,758)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (99th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (99th percentile)

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mendeley
671 Mendeley
citeulike
5 CiteULike
Title
The geographical distribution of fossil fuels unused when limiting global warming to 2 °C.
Published in
Nature, January 2015
DOI 10.1038/nature14016
Pubmed ID
Authors

Christophe McGlade, Paul Ekins, McGlade C, Ekins P

Abstract

Policy makers have generally agreed that the average global temperature rise caused by greenhouse gas emissions should not exceed 2 °C above the average global temperature of pre-industrial times. It has been estimated that to have at least a 50 per cent chance of keeping warming below 2 °C throughout the twenty-first century, the cumulative carbon emissions between 2011 and 2050 need to be limited to around 1,100 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide (Gt CO2). However, the greenhouse gas emissions contained in present estimates of global fossil fuel reserves are around three times higher than this, and so the unabated use of all current fossil fuel reserves is incompatible with a warming limit of 2 °C. Here we use a single integrated assessment model that contains estimates of the quantities, locations and nature of the world's oil, gas and coal reserves and resources, and which is shown to be consistent with a wide variety of modelling approaches with different assumptions, to explore the implications of this emissions limit for fossil fuel production in different regions. Our results suggest that, globally, a third of oil reserves, half of gas reserves and over 80 per cent of current coal reserves should remain unused from 2010 to 2050 in order to meet the target of 2 °C. We show that development of resources in the Arctic and any increase in unconventional oil production are incommensurate with efforts to limit average global warming to 2 °C. Our results show that policy makers' instincts to exploit rapidly and completely their territorial fossil fuels are, in aggregate, inconsistent with their commitments to this temperature limit. Implementation of this policy commitment would also render unnecessary continued substantial expenditure on fossil fuel exploration, because any new discoveries could not lead to increased aggregate production.

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Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United States 23 3%
United Kingdom 18 3%
Canada 7 1%
Germany 6 <1%
Norway 4 <1%
Belgium 3 <1%
Sweden 3 <1%
Italy 2 <1%
Denmark 2 <1%
Other 17 3%
Unknown 586 87%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 191 28%
Researcher 140 21%
Student > Master 116 17%
Student > Bachelor 55 8%
Professor 31 5%
Other 126 19%
Unknown 12 2%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Environmental Science 143 21%
Engineering 92 14%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 77 11%
Earth and Planetary Sciences 69 10%
Economics, Econometrics and Finance 61 9%
Other 217 32%
Unknown 12 2%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 2448. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 21 June 2017.
All research outputs
#151
of 7,932,087 outputs
Outputs from Nature
#45
of 46,758 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#10
of 236,538 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Nature
#4
of 821 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 7,932,087 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 99th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 46,758 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 72.3. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 236,538 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 821 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its contemporaries.