Webinar: Probabilistic Projections of Carbon Emissions and Global Temperature

Event Type
Web Session

Start time: 1.00 pm

End time: 2.30 pm


Please note: This webinar will not be recorded.

This event will be run as a live webinar using Zoom. Click here for information on using Zoom.

The recently published Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) projections to 2100 give likely ranges of global temperature increase in five illustrative scenarios for population, economic growth and carbon use. However, these projections are not based on a fully statistical approach. Here we use a country-specific version of Kaya’s identity to develop a statistically based probabilistic forecast of CO2 emissions and temperature change to 2100.

Using data for 1960–2015, we develop a joint Bayesian hierarchical model for future population growth, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita and carbon intensity, and use this to develop probabilistic projections of global temperature increase.

Based on these,  we try to answer the questions: Is the world on track to limiting global warming to 2C? Are countries on track to fulfil their promises under the Paris Agreement? Even if the promises were met, would they be enough to meet the 2C or 1.5C warming objectives? If not, how much more is needed?

Below are links to sources, of references from the webinar:


Raftery et al (2017, Nature Climate Change)

Liu and Raftery (2021, Communications Earth Env.) http://bayespop.csss.washington.edu (references and software for probabilistic population projections) Data and code: https://github.com/PPgp/CO2projections 

Raftery et al (2017, Nature Climate Change):

https://www.nature.com/articles/nclimate3352 (journal version)

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6070153/ (PubMed version - free)

Liu and Raftery (2021, Communications Earth Env.):

https://www.nature.com/articles/s43247-021-00097-8 (Open Access - free)


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Adrian E. Raftery, University of Washington
Biographical details

Adrian E. Raftery is the Boeing International Professor of Statistics and Sociology, and an adjunct professor of Atmospheric Sciences, at the University of Washington in Seattle. He was born in Dublin and obtained a B.A. in Mathematics (1976) and an M.Sc. in Statistics and Operations Research (1977) at Trinity College Dublin. He obtained a doctorate in mathematical statistics in 1980 from the Université Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris. He was a lecturer in statistics at Trinity College Dublin from 1980 to 1986, and then an associate (1986-1990) and full (1990-present) professor of statistics and sociology at the University of Washington.

He develops new statistical methods for problems in the social, environmental and health sciences. An elected member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, he was identified as the world's most cited researcher in mathematics for the decade 1995-2005 by Thomson-ISI. He has supervised 32 Ph.D. graduates, of whom 21 hold or have held tenure-track university faculty positions.

Amongst numerous other awards, Adrian received the St. Patrick’s Day Medal, which is awarded each year by Science Foundation Ireland to honour Irish-born scientists who live and work in the United States, in 2017. A full biography is available here.