Scientists warn of imminent climate catastrophe without massive changes

09 October, 2018, 03:25 | Author: Sherry Houston
  • Landmark UN global warming report carries life-or-death warning

For some people this is a life-or-death situation without a doubt.
But they provide little hope the world will rise to the challenge.

The IPCC accepted the invitation, adding that the Special Report would look at these issues in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty.

Global temperature is now rising 0.2C with each decade, and it is estimated we will reach 1.5C by 2040.

Global sea levels would rise 10 cm lower by 2100.

"What this report shows is that these kind of problems, the heat, the drought, are going to get significantly worse and rapidly so".

The task ahead is "monumental", says Natalie Mahowald, a lead author on the report.

The report highlights a number of climate impacts that could be avoided by limiting global warming to 1.5 °C compared to 2 °C, or more. Scientists said "rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society" are required to limit the possibility of irreversible environmental damage. While the United Nations panel says technically that's possible, it saw little chance of the needed adjustments happening. Ecosystems, too, would benefit greatly from limiting warming. It's called the two-degree goal.

Now, the Earth is already warmer by 1 degree C compared to pre-industrial times.

Several countries have advocated at the negotiations to implement the Paris Agreement that the goal should be shifted to keeping temperature rise below 1.5 degree Celsius.

Over 6,000 scientific references are cited.

Results and updates from UFC 229
Danis is now signed to Bellator MMA but he wants to fight dos Anjos who has a career 17-8 record in the UFC. Makhachev boasted about planting blows on McGregor after the rumble.

People cool off during a heat wave in Madrid in August.

The Federal Government maintains it will meet its commitment under the Paris climate agreement to reduce carbon emissions by 28 per cent from 2005 levels, even though the IPCC report suggested it would need to be closer to 45 per cent. The IPCC report, however, shows that global warming impacts have come sooner and hit harder than predicted.

It furthers the Paris Agreement of 2015, where and aim of limiting global temperature rises to "well below" 2C was set. However, the State Department said in a statement that "acceptance of this report by the panel does not imply endorsement by the United States of the specific findings or underlying contents of the report". He likened the report to an academic exercise wondering what would happen if a frog had wings.

"Large quantities of current gas plants will need to be retired early, while those under construction or in planning stages must be reconsidered immediately as they are not compatible with the 1.5-degree future", Chen said. They said it is up to governments to decide whether those unprecedented changes are acted upon. To have at least a 50/50 chance of staying under the 1.5C cap without overshooting the mark, the world must, by 2050, become "carbon neutral", according to the report.

Lowering emissions to this degree, while technically possible, would require widespread changes in energy, industry, buildings, transportation and cities, the report says. Annual carbon dioxide pollution levels that are still rising now would have to drop by about half by 2030 and then be near zero by 2050.

The UK already has a target to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050. Scientists attribute the temperature rises and extreme weather mainly to greenhouse gases including carbon dioxide from fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas.

The WWF called on the European Union to take urgent action to limit global warming to 1.5ºC, saying in a press release: "Approved by 195 governments, the report underscores the small window of opportunity we have to make immediate, deep and transformational changes - without which the world we know will be irreversibly changed".

Coral and other ecosystems are also at risk. Coral reefs have a particularly dire outlook.

The outcome will determine whether "my grandchildren would get to see attractive coral reefs", Princeton's Oppenheimer said.

She said: "Strong climate policies must be put in place, both for year-to-year activities and in longer term planning".

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