Monday, 10 December, 2018

United Nations report warns of possible climate disaster by 2040

Lovelyn Cesar 22 carries her one year old baby Matthew as she cross a flooded street in a suburb of Manila after two histor Landmark UN climate report warns time quickly running out
Ellis Copeland | 09 October, 2018, 16:16

We expect to lose 75 to 90 percent of coral reefs by 1.5°C; at 2.0 °C, that number is over 99 percent. The sea level will still rise, and there always be more extreme weather events and natural disasters, but these won't be as extreme as the worst case scenario we're now headed for. But even a 1.5°C rise in temperature will be threatening to India.

"Limiting warming to 1.5°C is possible within the laws of chemistry and physics but doing so would require unprecedented changes", said Jim Skea, co-chair of IPCC Working Group III.

For people, it would greatly reduce the risk of water shortages, food scarcity, and poverty related to climate change.

"We have a monumental task in front of us, but it is not impossible", Mahowald said earlier. The Trump administration delivered notice in August 2017 that it intends to withdraw from the agreement; under the treaty withdrawal rules, the US can't pull out until November 2019.

Countries in the southern hemisphere will be among the worse off, the report said, "projected to experience the largest impacts on economic growth due to climate change should global warming increase". "Global net human-caused emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) would need to fall by about 45 percent from 2010 levels by 2030, reaching "net zero" around 2050", the report states.

Implementing a technique, only theoretical at the moment, of pulling the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide from the air by turning plants into fuel and storing some of the resulting emissions underground. Governments would have to increase renewable energy sources like solar and wind technology from 20 to around 67 percent, and reduce coal as an energy source from 40 percent to between 1 and 7 percent.

The United Nations Paris climate agreement, signed in 2015, commits more than 190 countries to keep temperatures "well below" 2°C while "pursuing efforts" to stop global warming at 1.5°C.

"Climate change represents an urgent and potentially irreversible threat to human societies and the planet", the report reads. With a 2°C rise, the impacts can be too serious for communities to adapt.

We are nowhere near reaching the target to limit average global temperature rises to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels, and the world is on track to be 3C warmer.

By the end of the century, if warming stops at 1.5 degrees, the sea level rise may be almost four inches lower than if it stops at 2 degrees.

The Special Report makes it abundantly clear that if the world continues with its current climate efforts, the 1.5°C limit could be breached between 2030 and 2052.

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The basic gist is hardly surprising-the impacts of 1.5°C warming are slightly less than 2.0°C, and it's harder to cut greenhouse gas emissions fast enough to meet the lower target.

The US delegation - the first since Donald Trump took office to work on an IPCC report - did not throw a monkey wrench into the process, as many here had feared.

"There are lots of reasons other than climate change for shifting diets".

He said the report "has sent the strongest message yet from the scientific community that the era of fossil fuels has to end soon if we are to protect the world from risky climate change and limit warming to 1.5°C".

The stakes are especially high for small island states, developing nations in the tropics, and countries with densely-populated delta regions already suffering from rising seas.

Cutting energy demand by using less of it is a highly effective step.

He adds that "the impacts of climatic change hazards (like droughts, floods, etc.) will depend on the exposure (population in coastal zones, drought- and flood-prone areas and mountain slopes)".

Countries in the southern hemisphere would see the most drastic effects.

The rise has already triggered consequences we are seeing through the seasons such as more extreme weather.

The pledges nations made in the Paris agreement in 2015 are "clearly insufficient to limit warming to 1.5 in any way", one of the study's lead authors, Joerj Roeglj of the Imperial College in London, said. Additionally, there must be renewed emphasis on adaptation, which, as the Report says, requires transformation and incremental shifts with more finance directed towards adaptation. To have at least a 50/50 chance of staying under the 1.5C cap without overshooting the mark, the world must, by 2050, become "carbon neutral", according to the report.

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