Researchers have issued a warning that regulations in the Paris Agreement will not be enough to stop the collapse of Icelandic and Antarctic ice sheets.
Under the Paris Agreement, established in 2015, the countries agreed to limit global warming to less than 2degC than pre-industrial levels.
But a new report from Victoria University and Université Libre de Bruxelles published in Nature Climate change found that both islets can have tip points at or slightly above 1.5-2degC threshold.
Victoria University of Wellington's Professor Tim Naish says the report is "extremely current considering the latest version of the IPCC's special report on global warming of 1.5 degrees, and especially given that we are close to 1.5 degrees."
"Without any degree of direct carbon dioxide recovery from the atmosphere, it is unlikely we will avoid it," he says.
Should the ice collapse, the report says that it could lead to irreversible loss of mass and drainage basins. The effects of rising sea levels would be disastrous for New Zealand.
New Zealand's commitment under the Paris agreement is to reduce emissions by 30 percent during 2005 levels by 2030. It was revealed last year that the cost of the New Zealand economy to meet the Paris Agreement's target will be $ 1.4 billion each year in a decade.
"We are very close to trigger irreversible change in the Earth's polarized coat," says Otago University Professor Christine Hulbe, commenting on the new report.
"The threshold for irreversible ice loss in both Greenland and Antarctica is somewhere between 1.5 and 2degC global warming. We are already a little more than 1degC warming.
"Even though we meet the Paris goals and keep warming in control, we are still engaged in continued ice loss in the 21st century, and thus the sea level rise continued."
Victoria University of Wellington Rob McKay finds that melting differs between the hemisphere, with melting of greenland controlled by atmospheric heating and Antarctica through oceanic heating.
But the temperature limit for reaching these tip points in both regions is between 1.5 and 2 ° C, "he said, which" suggests that even if we meet the climate agreement goals in Paris, we will be extremely close to the point that we will not return for a quick getaway.
"Although this melting will play over hundreds of thousands of years, it appears from this work that the more we exceed the 1.5degC target, the faster this accelerated melting of the ice will be."
The researchers concluded that acute research is required on the subject to better improve future forecasts.