After working overtime for the last couple of years, scientists volunteering for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have now provided a report summarizing what existing research tells us about a 1.5ºC warmer world.
Limiting global warming to 1.5C comes with a hefty price tag: some $2.4 trillion (2.1 trillion euros) of investments in the global energy system every year between 2016 and 2035, or about 2.5 percent of world GDP. At 1.5℃, summertime Arctic sea ice is projected to disappear once per century, compared to once per decade at 2℃; 8% of plants that have been studied would lose half their climatically-suitable area, compared to 16%; sea level rise would be 10cm less (with 10m fewer people impacted at today’s population levels); and while coral reefs might decline by a further 80% at 1.5℃, they could virtually disappear at 2℃. “Several regional changes in climate are assessed to occur with global warming up to 1.5 degree Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels, including warming of extreme temperatures in many regions (high confidence), increases in frequency, intensity, and/or amount of heavy precipitation in several regions (high confidence), and an increase in intensity or frequency of droughts in some regions (medium confidence)”.
At 1.5 degrees, the report finds that 70 to 90 percent of tropical coral reefs will vanish.
“At 1.5 degrees, we will see the consequences of climate-related risks to our health, our livelihoods, our food security, water supply, human security, and economic growth”, Penny Wong, Labor’s acting spokeswoman for climate change, said.
“They need to take collaborative and coordinated action, if we’re actually ging to achieve a goal of 1.5 degrees warming”. “In some parts of the world, national borders will become irrelevant”, said Aromar Revi, director of the Indian Institute for Human Settlements and an author of the report.
“The report will encourage the development of new technologies, which is important”, Mr. Gore said in a statement.
Global net emissions of carbon dioxide would need to fall by 45 per cent from 2010 levels by 2030 and reach “net zero” around 2050 in order to keep the warming around 1.5°C.
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. “But doing so would require unprecedented changes”.
The 2015 Paris Accord (which no major industrialised country is now on track to meet) set out to prevent more than 2 degrees Celsius warming from preindustrial times.
The US, along with 180 other countries, accepted the report’s summary line by line.
The world has only a few years left to deal with climate change – or face blistering heat waves, rising seas and a ‘shocking rise in hunger, ‘ a United Nations report has warned.
Deep in the report, scientists say less than two per cent of 529 of their calculated possible future scenarios kept warming below the 1.5 goal without the temperature going above that and somehow coming back down in the future. IPCC assessments are a key input into the global negotiations to tackle climate change.
“It is clear that governments must be preparing now to commit to much stronger 2030 targets under the Paris Agreement that need to be submitted by all governments no later than 2020; and they have to ditch coal”.
The London-headquartered Association noted the report concludes that achieving the 1.5 degrees goal will require global greenhouse gas emissions to start reducing nearly immediately.
Approved by the IPCC in South Korea on Saturday ahead of COP24 in Poland in December, Global Warming of 1.5°C was produced by 91 authors and reviewers from 40 countries.
Today, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a report on the forthcoming impacts of climate change.
Methods to take excess carbon out of the atmosphere will also be needed.
Warrick said her organisation intends to campaign for governments to invest in carbon capture technology.
The report explains why it’s so important that we meet the 1.5 degree target, and how hard that will be to accomplish.