Tuesday, 11 December, 2018

The scariest parts of the new climate change report

Global warming more than 1.5C could melt the Arctic ice and rise the sea water level Global warming more than 1.5C could melt the Arctic ice and rise the sea water level
Cary Marshall | 10 October, 2018, 02:46

The global scientific authority on climate change, the IPCC, said the planet has 12 years with which to possibly achieve the 1.5-degree target, but it would require "transformational" change across all areas of society. "Climate change is significantly contributing to increased heat-related mortality", the report reads.

Moreover, coral reefs, already threatened, would decline by 70-90 per cent with global warming of 1.5°C, whereas virtually all would be lost with 2°C, according to the report.

Yesterday, the United Nations released a terrifying report about climate change, which basically said we've got around 12 years left to keep climate change to a minimum.

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The IPCC calls for massive investments in renewable energy to meet climate-change goals, claiming that avoiding a catastrophe will involve "annual average investment needs in the energy system of around $2.4 trillion" between 2016 and 2035.

Even in the best-case scenario, where global warming is capped at 1.5 °C by the end of the century, its effects will most likely be devastating. But Monday's report comes amid a reactionary political climate.

There's only twelve years left to avert climate change disaster, and Scott Morrison's still throwing around words like "nonsense".

"The next few years are probably the most important in our history", warned Debra Roberts, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group II. When the next climate talks happen this December, the new report is created to give governments the incentive to go much further, faster.

Such "carbon removal" might happen by developing better technology to take out carbon dioxide from the atmosphere - now an extremely expensive process - or by planting many more forests that could be harvested and burned for energy, with emissions pumped into underground storage.

The IPCC study, which took almost three years to complete and involved 91 authors from 40 countries, is the first to look in detail at the 1.5 deg C limit, which is one of the goals in the 2015 UN Paris Climate Agreement.

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"While the pace of change that would be required to limit warming to 1.5°C can be found in the past, there is no historical precedent for the scale of the necessary transitions, in particular in a socially and economically sustainable way", the report continues.

As more greenhouse gases lead to more warming, stabilising the planet's temperature at any level will require emissions to fall to zero overall To keep temperatures from rising to more than 1.5C in the long term, countries need to cut carbon emissions by 45% by 2030 and to net zero by 2050, with steep cuts in other greenhouse gases such as methane.

"The US is pretty much on target to reach its (climate) targets at least in the short-term - the market is driving this", said McCarthy, who ran the EPA under Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama, from 2013 to 2017.

"1.5 degrees is the new 2 degrees", Jennifer Morgan, executive director of Greenpeace International, told The Washington Post after attending the finalisation of the IPCC report in Incheon, the Republic of Korea.

The report does describe how much more serious climatic impacts will be if the world lets warming reach 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. It is based on more than 6,000 scientific references and contributions from thousands of experts and government reviewers around the world.

It is critical that world leaders understand the IPCC report and use it as a template for immediate action.

The report will provide the framework of discussion for the Katowice Climate Change Conference in Poland in December when governments review the Paris Agreement to tackle climate change.

"We want to stop going over the cliff by applying the brakes now", Peters told E&E News.

A spokeswoman for the state department said the U.S. is "leading the world in providing affordable, abundant, and secure energy to our citizens, while protecting the environment and reducing emissions through job-creating innovation".

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