New United Nations report details looming climate crisis

James Marshall
October 10, 2018

The Scottish government published its draft Climate Change Bill earlier this year, which upped a 2050 target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from 80% to 90% against 1990 levels. Coral reefs would be devastated-about 70%-90% would be lost with a 1.5 degree increase; nearly all the world's reefs would be eviscerated if average temperatures rose by more than two degrees. 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.

"While the pace of change that would be required to limit warming to 1.5°C can be found in the past, there is no historical precedent for the scale of the necessary transitions, in particular in a socially and economically sustainable way", the report continues.

The report unequivocally states that climate-related risks are larger if global warming exceeds 1.5º C, even if it gradually stabilises at 1.5º C by the end of the century.

The report makes it clear that climate change is already happening - and what comes next could be even worse, unless urgent global political action is taken. The IPCC 1.5 report starkly illustrates the difference between temperature rises of 1.5°C and 2°C-for many around the world this is a matter of life and death. "The further we go the more explosions we are likely to set off: 1.5C is safer than 2C, 2C is safer than 2.5C, 2.5C is safer than 3C, and so on", he said.

It was Mr Trump's first reaction to the report, which says that the Earth surface has warmed one degree Celsius and is on track toward an unliveable 3C or 4C rise.

"Scientists are increasingly aware that every half degree of warming matters", Chris Weber, WWF's global climate and energy lead scientist, said in a statement.

Keeping emissions down, however, will boost economic growth and save the expenditure on catastrophic fallouts of climate change.That means putting money into saving the planet before it reaches tipping point.

Limting global warming to the newly-agreed target of 1.5°C is "possible within the laws of chemistry and physics", co-chair of IPCC Working Group III Jim Skea said of the shift.

Global temperatures have risen 1 degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels, researchers said, citing human activity and greenhouse gas emissions.

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. The Paris agreement committed to limit warming to well below 2 degrees, and pursue the even harder goal to limit it to 1.5 degrees.

Experts on climate change released a new report Monday saying widespread action across the globe is needed to prevent long-lasting and irreversible damage caused by global warming.

As underlined in the assessment, which was written by leading climate scientists, achieving this goal will "require rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society".

"One of the major issues is that there would be 420 million people less suffering because of climate change if we would be able to limit the warming to 1.5-degree level". "The next few years will be critical in the evolution of these efforts". "We discussed, for instance, how much land would need to be diverted from agriculture to forestry (for creating carbon stocks) for capturing carbon, or growing biofuel", the person told The Hindu.

"Unfortunately, the Trump administration has become a rogue outlier in its shortsighted attempt to prop up the dirty fossil fuel industries of the past".

I have been heartened over the past year by the determination of countless Americans to reaffirm their commitment to the Paris Agreement and to keep taking climate change seriously, from state governors and city mayors to business leaders, labour unions, faith groups and ordinary citizens.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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