A decade to avoid climate change catastrophe: stark warning for globe

Cristina Cross
October 12, 2018

THE world must reduce greenhouse-gas emissions to "net zero" by 2050 if global warming is to be limited to 1.5ºC, a new report from the world's leading scientists has said. "As a responsible risk officer, board member, shareholder, you need to think about that". A warming greater than 1.5°C is therefore not geophysically unavoidable: "whether it will occur depends on future rates of emission reductions".

While warming of 2C above pre-industrial levels has widely been thought of as the threshold beyond which risky climate change will occur, vulnerable countries such as low-lying island states warn rises above 1.5C will threaten their survival.

By 2100, global sea level rise would be 3.9 in. lower with global warming of 1.5°C compared with 2°C, while the likelihood of an Arctic Ocean with no sea ice in summer would be once per century compared with at least once per decade, the report shows.

The climate change report published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) of the United Nations spells a doom for India. The report acknowledged those changes would be hard and costly, but not impossible. "In totality, how the rest of the world handles the climate rogue behaviour of the Trump administration will decide whether the world meets the 1.5°C goal or not", Bhushan pointed out.

Tweeting shortly after the report was launched, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said that it is not impossible to limit global warming to 1.5°C, according to the report.

The dramatic report warned that the planet is now heading to warm by 3C.

Valerie Masson-Delmotte, a climate scientist, added: "The good news is that some of the kinds of actions that would be needed to limit global warming to 1.5C are already underway around the world, but they would need to accelerate". It would mean a carbon-neutral world - one with no net additional greenhouse gases in the atmosphere - by 2050.

How can all that be done?

Limiting global warming to 1.5°C would require "rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society", according to a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).


17 surreal things that happened during the Donald Trump-Kanye West summit
The President said during the White House meeting that he's "totally open" to an alternative to stop-and-frisk. Kanye continued of the former Democratic presidential candidate Trump says he wants locked up.

It will require a huge ramp-up in renewables so they generate 70-85% of electricity supplies by 2050, while coal power's share of the mix tumbles to nearly nothing.

The feasibility of solar, wind and battery storage has improved significantly in recent years, which could signal the system is transforming, the report says.

There will also need to be emissions cuts in industry, transport and buildings as well as the restoring of forests and potential changes to lifestyle. This will require acting on all fronts to rapidly reduce emissions by 2030.

Millions of square kilometres would need to be turned into forest or used for growing renewable energy crops - which could undermine food production. It's therefore important for all the nations to make efforts towards limiting the warming. "Coral reefs would decline by 70-90 percent with global warming of 1.5°C, whereas virtually all ( 99 percent) would be lost with 2°C", as the IPCC related in the release.

The IPCC does not do any of its own research, so the report draws on more than 6,000 research papers to reach its conclusions. The summary for policymakers issued yesterday was discussed and approved by representatives of all 195 countries.

"My focus is making sure we actually do what we said we were going to do and then we can be more ambitious", McKenna said.

"This means that any remaining emissions would need to be balanced by removing Carbon dioxide from the air", the report has found.

SKEA: Yeah. I mean, the - what we were asked to do by governments was to produce a report that answered two homework questions.

Other reports by

Discuss This Article