Major UN report says climate change is worse than first thought

Rodiano Bonacci
Ottobre 10, 2018

The day after an global panel of scientists issued a stark warning about the short window in which world leaders can act to avoid catastrophic climate change, the president of the United States didn't comment on whether the USA accepts or will act on the findings.

Their conclusion calls into question B.C.'s recent decision to move forward with the development of a liquefied natural gas industry, which critics say will make it significantly more hard to meet the province's existing climate targets. The events are being reported as two parts of the same story, but they reveal the contradictions inherent in climate policy-and why economics matters more than ever.

Efforts to curb climate change must also extend beyond the 2015 Paris Agreement reached among 197 countries - which President Trump withdrew the United States from in June 2017.

"The only way to slow near-term feedbacks [which could drive climate change past tipping points] in the 15- to 20-year window before we lose control to runaway warming is to cut the SLCPs, which can provide considerably more avoided warming at mid-century than cuts to carbon dioxide can provide", said Durwood Zaelke, founder of the Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development and a reviewer of the IPCC report on the effects of 1.5 C warming. This means any remaining emissions would need to be removed by planting forests, or using carbon capture and storage technology, where emissions from power plants and industry are captured and stored deep underground.

Key points in the report include maintaining the current global temperature at 1.5ºC. The general message is that the ecological and social impacts of 1.5℃ are significantly more manageable than 2℃ - half a degree of warming is a big deal.

The report lists various scenarios that might occur if the world hit 2 degrees of warming.

Wired is a lot less diplomatic about the crisis: If we don't keep emissions at a steady 1.5 degree temperature rise in the next dozen years followed by going carbon-neutral by 2050, "the consequences will be disastrous".

Chandra Bhushan, the deputy director general of Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), says, "Though it will be very hard in the current global economic system to limit warming to 1.5°C, it is not impossible".

Morrison says, 'Let's not forget Australia accounts for just over 1% of global emissions. "You know, which group drew it", Trump said on the White House's South Lawn.

The climate modelling called socioeconomic pathways, or SSPs, looks at choices individuals can make to contribute towards the 1.5 degrees Celsius limit on global warming based on pre-industrial levels.

The review of thousands of scientific papers also said the spread of disease and economic damage and harm to yields of crops will be less severe at 1.5C than 2C, as will the extinction of species.

She warned the predicted loss of all coral reefs if governments could not contain warming would mean a massive loss of fish that people rely on for food and costing lives and livelihoods.

At 1.5 degrees, the report finds that 70 to 90 percent of tropical coral reefs will vanish. We ask that any comments by climate-change denialists be flagged for moderation.

"There were doubts if we would be able to differentiate impacts set at 1.5C and that came so clearly". Anyone living in New York City can testify to the extreme summer heat and freakish lack of fall weather despite it being nearly two weeks into October, but that's minor in comparison to the real catastrophes-hurricanes, massive flooding, wildfires, and more.

The UK already has a target to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050.

Professor Corinne Le Quere, from the University of East Anglia, said: "For the United Kingdom, this means a rapid switch to renewable energy and electric cars, insulating our homes, planting trees, where possible walking or cycling and eating well - more plants and less meat - and developing an industry to capture carbon and store it underground".

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