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World leaders to discuss emission plans at next week’s UN climate change conference

The goal is to limit global warming to 1.5-2°C by 2100

Details on the UN climate change conference (COP26) happening next week (Copyright 2021 by WSLS 10 - All rights reserved.)

GLASGOW, Scotland – The 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26, begins on Sunday in Glasgow, Scotland. The conference will run until November 12.

World leaders and senior government officials from nearly 200 countries will be negotiating and making decisions about greenhouse gas emissions at COP26.

The expectation is that national-level plans will be increased to cut those emissions and limit global warming to 1.5-2°C (2.7-3.6°F) by 2100.

Our friends at Climate Central have projected what a cut in emissions would mean for us at a local and national level. The following graphics also show what would happen if we let greenhouse gas emissions continue at the current rate.

Let’s start with Roanoke. The annual average temperature for the Star City has increased by more than 2 degrees Fahrenheit since 1970. It currently sits between 58 and 59 degrees Fahrenheit.

Impact on cutting emissions - Roanoke (Copyright 2021 by WSLS 10 - All rights reserved.)

Under both projections, we would see an increase in temperature by 2100, but it’s easy to see which is the preferable scenario.

We end up with an annual average temperature around 61°F in the “significant cuts” scenario vs. 66°F in the “continued emissions” scenario.

The national maps do an even better job of showing us why this conference is so important.

Impact on cutting emissions - National (Copyright 2021 by WSLS 10 - All rights reserved.)

In the “continued emissions” scenario, the warming would be most significant in states like Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa. Most of Virginia would potentially see a 5°F increase by 2100.

If we can cut emissions, the warming will be much less significant: between 1.5 and 2 degrees Fahrenheit in the Commonwealth.

Look for coverage of COP26 right here on WSLS.com, as well as in our newscasts the next few weeks.


About the Author:

Justin McKee presents the weather forecast on 10 News Saturday and Sunday mornings from 6 to 8 a.m. He also fills in for other meteorologists during the week.