Planet has only until 2030 to stem catastrophic climate change, experts warn

Rodiano Bonacci
Ottobre 10, 2018

Under the 2015 Paris accord, countries agreed to limit the average temperature increase to well below 2 degrees, with a goal of no more than 1.5 degrees.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate (IPCC) change has released a dramatic report warning that there are less than 12 years for global warming to be kept below 1.5°C.

Delaying action on climate change "is something that is explicitly contradicted in the report", he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

While coral reefs could decline 70 to 90 percent with 1.5C of warming, virtually all the world's reefs would be lost at 2C, while far more creatures and plants across the world face losing a large part of their range. Scientists, including some from the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, had at the time already sounded alarms over climate change as they said it had "exacerbated" the heat wave in the country.

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While warming of 2C above pre-industrial levels has widely been thought of as the threshold beyond which unsafe climate change will occur, vulnerable countries such as low-lying island states warn rises above 1.5C will threaten their survival.

"Global warming is likely to reach 1.5 degrees C between 2030 and 2052 if it continues to increase at the current rate", the report states.

Climate change should not be a divisive political issue.

Working Group I assesses the physical science basis of climate change; Working Group II addresses impacts, adaptation and vulnerability; and Working Group III deals with the mitigation of climate change.

"This is one of the most important reports ever produced by the IPCC, and certainly one of the most needed", Hoesung Lee, the chair of the body, said at a press conference in South Korea on Monday.

The Trump administration's plan to withdraw from the Paris agreement and eliminate regulations created to lower emissions will nearly certainly fuel more warming. 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.

The signatories of the Paris Agreement would have to make sweeping changes to everything from industry and building, to land use, how cities run, and, of course, how we produce energy. At 1.5°C, sea levels will still rise, but they'll be 10cm lower than they will if we reach 2°C, which could just mean the difference between survival and annihilation for some island nations and coastal areas.

The scientists said the report was meant to guide more than just governments, however, and that action by everyone - including individuals and businesses - would be required to hold the line on climate change. "Those pathways, at least in the special report, do not change with the updated carbon budget, as the calculations were done before the carbon budget was revised".

Well, lower carbon emissions for a start.

"And I want to look at who drew it", he continued.

During that historic conference in Paris three years ago, 197 nations (over 170 states and the European Union) had adopted new targets to help curb global warming, but in a controversial move, Donald Trump pulled the U.S. out in June 2017, saying it was "unfair" to this country.

"The policy implications of the report are obvious: We need to implement a suite of policies to sharply limit carbon emissions and build climate resilience, and we must do all this is in a way that prioritizes equitable outcomes particularly for the world's poor and marginalized communities", Cleetus added.

"Today the world's leading scientific experts collectively reinforced what mother nature has made clear - that we need to undergo an urgent and rapid transformation to a global clean energy economy", former US Vice President Al Gore said. Human-produced Carbon dioxide emissions would have to drop by 45 percent from 2010 levels by 2030, reaching "net zero" by 2050, according to the report.

By 2050, humanity would need to cut its net emissions to zero.

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