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11 October 2018, 11:03 | Dale Webster
Landmark UN climate report warns time quickly running out
"Considering the urgency to rapidly decarbonise, the world needs a "Plan B", as the Plan A - the Paris Agreement - will push the world towards catastrophic warming".
The report, which encompasses more than 6,000 scientific references, has found that some of the most severe climate change scenarios could be felt at an even lower temperatures of global warming, occurring decades earlier than expected.
Controlling the global warming to 1.5ºC rather letting it reach 2ºC would save the world from facing a lot of hazardous impacts on the ecosystem, human health and well being and it will make it easy to achieve the United NationsSustainable Development Goals.
"It's a line in the sand and what it says to our species is that this is the moment and we must act now", Debra Roberts, cochair of a working group on the impacts of climate change, tells The Guardian.
Allowing the global temperature to temporarily exceed or "overshoot" 1.5ºC would mean a greater reliance on techniques that remove Carbon dioxide from the air to return global temperature to below 1.5°C by 2100.
They will also require considerable political engagement globally, as will reducing the amount of carbon being emitted.
The dramatic report warned that the planet is now heading to warm by 3C.
Currently, the world has seen 1C of warming over the past 115 years, according to a USA report last year.
Many in Trump's Republican party are self-described climate change sceptics, questioning whether the overwhelming consensus of scientists around the world about manmade causes for ever-rising temperatures is accurate. Global sea levels rose 17cm in the 20th century.
"E$3 ven with erroneous attribution of extreme weather/climate events and projections using climate models that are running too hot and not fit for goal of projecting 21st century climate change, the IPCC still has not made a strong case for this massive investment to prevent 1.5C warming", she said on her Climate Etc. blog. Corals have already been battered by our current rise in global temperatures, which has risen by 1°C over the past 150 or so years.
We have seen numerous reports about the irreparable damage being done to coral reefs across the world, with warming temperatures and pollution leading to mass bleaching in many parts of the world's oceans.
Clearly, that deceivingly small half-degree difference has the potential to bring about significantly worse effects.
But no matter how many warnings we receive - and let's be honest, at this point we have had far too many - no one is willing to put their foot down and pump the brakes.
What Has Been The Reaction So Far?
The new Australian prime minister, Scott Morrison, said Monday that he would not withdraw the country from the Paris Agreement, but his government also wouldn't stick to electricity-sector targets that involve the phasing-out of coal.
"Every extra bit of warming matters, especially since warming of 1.5 C or higher increases the risk associated with long-lasting or irreversible changes, such as the loss of some ecosystems", said Hans-Otto Portner, a German scientist who co-chaired one of the panel's working groups. We can't find any historical analogies for it. However, the world has already warmed about 1 deg C since pre-industrial times.
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