Landmark UN climate report warns time quickly running out

Clay Curtis
October 9, 2018

But even though the world has already warmed by 1 °C, humanity has 10-30 more years than scientists previously thought in which to kick its carbon habit.

This would mean replacing petrol and diesel cars with electric vehicles or other clean alternatives and scrapping the use of gas boilers in homes in just a few decades. The report was released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on Monday.

While 1.5°C rise in global temperature will be precarious, a 2°C rise would be catastrophic. If we reach 2 degrees C of warming, the effects will be even more disastrous.

An global body of almost 100 climate scientists convened by the United Nations have issued a stern warning to the rest of the world.

In the Indian subcontinent, the IPCC report specifically mentions Kolkata and Karachi among cities that could face an increased threat of heat waves.

The report explains why it's so important that we meet the 1.5 degree target, and how hard that will be to accomplish. By 2050, we would have to hit net zero emissions-any remaining emissions would have to be counteracted by active removal of Carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

The study was urgent because CO2, the main greenhouse gas, reached record levels in the atmosphere previous year, and current pledges to cut emissions under the Paris Agreement would lead to warming of about 3 deg C.

One key issue will be negative emissions, large scale carbon-scrubbing technologies that can reduce the amount in the atmosphere and act to counter continued pollution.

"It also means adapting to the growing impacts of climate change that are felt here, particularly to the increasing flood risks from heavy rainfall and from sea level rise along our coasts". And on Sunday in Brazil, the world's seventh-largest emitter of greenhouse gas, voters appeared on track to elect a new president, Jair Bolsonaro, who has said he also plans to withdraw from the accord.

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She called it "the most hard in the 22 years that I've been honored to represent the state of Maine in the Senate". Rice, however, said her "ties to ME are long and deep". "That's what I did in this case", she said .

The report goes on to conclude that the global economy would effectively need to "stop on a dime" to deal with the impacts of climate change in time to reverse them, Freedman said. So far, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said that he's "not going to spend money on global climate conferences and all that nonsense", while Deputy PM Michael McCormack described the landmark United Nations warning as "some sort of report" and said Australia will "absolutely" keep relying on coal-fired power.

To contain warming at 1.5C, man-made global net carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions would need to fall by about 45 percent by 2030 from 2010 levels and reach "net zero" by mid-century.

"The report shows that we only have the slimmest of opportunities remaining to avoid unthinkable damage to the climate system that supports life as we know it", Amjad Abdulla, an IPCC board member and chief negotiator for the alliance of small island states, told Reuters news agency.

Not acting to keep the temperatures under check would have many damaging consequences the scientists noted.

Keeping the 1.5C target would keep the global sea level rise 0.1 metre lower by 2100 than a 2C target, the report states. The 1.5 was at the urging of vulnerable countries that called 2 degrees a death sentence.

"This report gives policymakers and practitioners the information they need to make decisions that tackle climate change while considering local context and people's needs" comments Debra Roberts, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group II, which addresses the impacts, adaptation and vulnerability factors of climate change.

Besides special reports, the IPCC has issued five major Assessment Reports that serve as the scientific foundation for United Nations climate talk.

"Only with a radical transformation of our energy, food and economic systems, embracing environmental, social, gender and economic justice, can we prevent climate catastrophe and temperature rises exceeding 1.5°C".

"There were doubts if we would be able to differentiate impacts set at 1.5C and that came so clearly". About as you'd expect: by referring to strategies to reduce emissions as "all that nonsense", and dismissing the UN's comprehensive evidence and warning as "some sort of report". The likelihood of an Arctic Ocean free of sea ice in summer would be once per century with global warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared with at least once per decade with 2 degrees Celsius. When the next climate talks happen this December, the new report is created to give governments the incentive to go much further, faster.

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