Donald Trump Sceptical Of UN Global Warming Report, Says Hasn't Read It

Clay Curtis
October 10, 2018

But the window of opportunity will close for good the longer we delay'.

Scientists are warning that we need to change the way we live our lives to try to avoid what they say could be a "climate change catastrophe".

The 2015 Paris Accord (which no major industrialised country is now on track to meet) set out to prevent more than 2 degrees Celsius warming from preindustrial times.

Around 6 percent of insects, 8 percent of plants, and 4 percent of vertebrates are projected to be negatively affected by global warming of 1.5°C, namely by shrinking their natural geographic range, compared with 18 percent of insects, 16 percent of plants and 8 percent of vertebrates for global warming of 2°C. While nascent and not conclusive in its findings-two of the reasons you won't find it referenced in the IPCC report-the study warned that humanity may be just 1°C away from creating a series of dynamic feedback loops that could push the world into a climate scenario not seen since the dawn of the Helocene Period, almost 12,000 years ago.

So how can we make sure that warming does not exceed 1.5°C and take us into highly unsafe territory? "This points out that every fraction of a degree really does matter".

The IPCC report makes clear for the first time that limiting warming to 1.5 degrees requires cutting short-lived super climate pollutions-black carbon, methane, and hydrofluorocarbons-along with carbon dioxide, as well as learning how to pull carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere at scale.

"The faster we act, the more we reduce the risk to people everywhere, especially the most vulnerable". The proportion of people around the world exposed to water stress could be cut in half. Access by developing countries to low-risk and low-interest finance through multilateral and national development banks would have to be facilitated (medium evidence, high agreement). Coral reefs would have a chance to survive. Coral reefs would decline by 70-90 percent with global warming of 1.5 °C, whereas virtually all ( 99 percent) would be lost with 2 °C.

Sea levels, for example, would be 10cm lower in a 1.5 degree scenario than a 2 degree scenario, and there would be substantially fewer heatwaves and droughts. The cost of the damage could run as high as $54 trillion. And that would have the side benefit of avoiding more than 100 million premature deaths through this century, the report said.

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The world needs to make decisions now for the future.

WA's Ningaloo Reef could be wiped out within three decades unless fossil fuels are phased out and the world changes dramatically to deal with a warming planet, according to a landmark report. And the use of renewables - such as wind and solar which now make up around 20% of the global electricity mix - must be expanded to up to 67% of the total.

Yet report authors said they remain optimistic.

Another recent report from the consulting firm PwC makes it clear that even limiting warming to 2 degrees C will be a stretch: "There seems to be nearly zero chance of limiting warming to well below two degrees (the main goal of the Paris Agreement), though widespread use of carbon capture and storage technologies, including Natural Climate Solutions, may make this possible", it says.

Limiting warming to the lower goal is "not impossible but will require unprecedented changes", United Nations panel chief Hoesung Lee said in a news conference in which scientists repeatedly declined to spell out just how feasible that goal is.

"Within the next decade or so, we will need to radically change the way we build our houses, move from one place to another and grow our food", said 350.org in a statement.

Today, we are not on track to meet any of these goals.

Those cities will need more support to develop cleanly, prevent disasters and adapt to climate shifts, he added.

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