‘Act urgently‚’ say SA experts after UN’s dire global warming warning

Mindy Sparks
October 10, 2018

"If we do not change course by 2020, we risk missing the point where we can avoid runaway climate change, with disastrous consequences...."

"The announcements and proposals made by the new administration have not been finalized, they are not based on science and the law and that is not exactly a winning formula when you go to the courts", she said.

Where Has The Warning Come From?

The special report on global warming by a United Nations body has set the tone for the upcoming climate conference in Poland where countries will now have to make efforts to align their pledges with the 1.5-degree celsius goal - a more stringent target than the existing agreement to limit average temperature rise within 2 degree celsius by 2100.

Is It A Big Deal?

The report says that "rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented" societal changes were needed.

Ninety-one authors and review editors from 40 countries prepared the IPCC report, which contains 6,000 scientific references.

It will be one of the main items discussed at a global conference in Poland in December, when governments will review the Paris Agreement (which the USA withdrew from in June 2017).

Scientists have said the impacts of climate change, from droughts to rising seas, will be less extreme if temperature rises are curbed at 1.5C above pre-industrial levels than if they climb to 2C, the UN-backed study said.

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 next few years are probably the most important in our history".

How Can Cuts Be Achieved?

By the year 2030, global human-caused emissions of Carbon dioxide would need to fall by roughly 45 percent relative to 2010 levels.

Coal power plants aren't going to disappear as a result of individuals ticking off their climate checklists.

The Kigali Amendment, by avoiding the equivalent of up to 90 billion tonnes of Carbon dioxide by 2050, could be "perhaps the single most significant contribution to keeping warming well below 2C, aiming for the still safer 1.5 C", Zaelke told the Guardian.

HFCs are prime examples of short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs), a range of chemicals that are spewed into the atmosphere by human activities and contribute to global warming.

An author of the recent report, who spoke on condition of anonymity, says the United States red-flagged several findings of the scientific summary for policymakers, but finally all nations endorsed it. Global sea levels rose 17cm in the 20th century.

At the current rate of global warming, the world's temperatures are set to increase by another 1.5C between 2030 and 2052. The impacts of 1.5°C of warming and the possible development pathways by which the world could get there are its main focus. For instance, by 2100, the global sea level rise would be 10 cm lower with global warming of 1.5°C compared with 2°C.

Small islands and coastal cities such as NY and Mumbai risk going underwater without the installation of sea barriers.

Health benefits will also be experienced as we will see lower levels of air pollution and the alleviation of poverty in the developing world.

What Has Been The Reaction So Far?

Canada would have to cut its emissions nearly in half over the next 12 years to meet the stiffer targets dozens of worldwide climate change experts say is required to prevent catastrophic results from global warming.

Developing nations and least developed countries have been asking developed nations, particularly the U.S., to take historical and moral responsibility for being one of the largest greenhouse gas emitters.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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