The scariest parts of the new climate change report

Mindy Sparks
October 10, 2018

The report sets out starkly that, without a rapid change of course, global temperatures will rise above the 1.5°C level that scientists view as the bare minimum to avert catastrophic climate change, including rising sea waters, desertification and droughts.

Most worryingly, the IPCC's report claims that this 1.5°C increase could be reached in as little as 11 years, and nearly certainly within 20 years.

Green Car Reports respectfully reminds its readers that the scientific validity of climate change is not a topic for debate in our comments. Adding another 0.9 degrees on top of that - the looser global goal - essentially means a different and more challenging Earth for people and species, said another of the report's lead authors, Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, director of the Global Change Institute at the University of Queensland, Australia.

Meanwhile, the climate group 350.org said the report supports the call for a halt to the use of oil, gas and coal and a "rapid transition to energy systems based on 100% renewable energy".

We have been warned: There are now only 12 years left for us to stop global warming in its tracks.

"There is no definitive way to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 above pre-industrial levels", the United Nations -requested report said. At 1.5°C, around 14 per cent of the world's population will face extreme heatwaves at least once every five years, which is pretty bad but much better than the fact that a third of the world's population will face these heatwaves if global warming reaches 2°C. A huge percentage of reefs, from 70-90%, could still be lost with 1.5 degrees of warming. "With clear benefits to people and natural ecosystems, limiting global warming to 1.5ºC compared to 2ºC could go hand in hand with ensuring a more sustainable and equitable society".

The report consistently highlights the difference between a rise of 1.5°C from pre-industrial levels and a rise of 2°C.

Temperatures have already risen an average 1C since the mid-1800s as industrialisation fuels the growth of carbon dioxide emissions (CO2), the main greenhouse gas blamed for climate change.

These carbon dioxide scrubbing techniques would be particularly vital if the global temperature were to briefly peak above 1.5°C before being wrestled back down below the target by the end of the century.


But the report said the efficacy of measures, such as planting forests, bioenergy use or capturing and storing CO2, were unproven at a large scale and carried some risks.

Despite saying the new lower goal was not impossible, the scientists on the IPCC panel repeatedly declined to spell out just how feasible it would be for nations to reach this new goal, instead of limiting warming by 2 degrees. "What we've done is said what the world needs to do", Imperial College London's Jim Skea, cochair of the IPCC panel, said at a press conference. "The next few years are probably the most important in our history", she said.

The report was prepared at the request of governments when the global pact to tackle climate change was agreed in Paris almost three years ago.

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.

Limiting warming to "well below" 1.5 degrees hotter than pre-industrial levels was the promise made by governments all over the world at the Paris climate talks in 2015.

Greens climate spokesman Adam Bandt said the report showed it was "time to hit the climate emergency button", and neither major party was prepared to take the necessary steps.

So how can we make sure that warming does not exceed 1.5°C and take us into highly risky territory?

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.

The report's authors and representatives of 195 governments which are members of the IPCC have then met to finalise the "summary for policymakers" report, which involves agreeing it line-by-line.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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