'Rapid, Far-Reaching, and Unprecedented' Global Action Needed to 'Prevent Climate Catastrophe'

'Rapid, Far-Reaching, and Unprecedented' Global Action Needed to 'Prevent Climate Catastrophe'

The Paris Agreement, adopted by almost 200 nations in December 2015, included the aim of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change by limiting global temperature rise no more than 2 C. For instance, it could pull corals back from the brink of complete eradication-an inevitable fate with a 2-degree-Celsius rise-and ease the severity of climate-related poverty, food shortages and water stress, Watts at The Guardian reports.

A number of climate change impacts could be avoided by limiting global warming to 1.5ºC compared to 2ºC, or more, the report found. Given accumulated emissions, the report says, "Global warming is likely to reach 1.5°C between 2030 and 2052".

The report triggered calls for policymakers to immediately end all fossil fuel subsidies, set a price on carbon, and adopt renewable energy and green technologies.

The report elicited dramatic response, with leaders such as Andrew Steer, president and CEO at World Resources Institute, calling it "a wakeup call for slumbering world leaders".

The IPCC report is undeniably grim, but its authors state that the 1.5°C target can still be met if unprecedented, wide-ranging action is taken straight away. Any additional carbon dioxide emissions would require removing the harmful gas from the air.

IPCC assessments provide governments, at all levels, with scientific information that they can use to develop climate policies.

"But doing so would require unprecedented changes".

A rise in global temperatures by another 0.5 degree Celsius would increase, deepen and spread the impacts wider, the scientists concluded.

Given that current national commitments on greenhouse-gas emissionsfall well short of the goals laid out in the Paris climate agreement, many scientists have argued that meeting even the 2 °C goal is virtually impossible.

That's the warning from some of the world's top scientists with the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, who believe we only have 12 years to prevent those outcomes due to climate change. It is based on more than 6,000 scientific references and contributions from thousands of experts and government reviewers around the world.

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Most scenarios in the report suggest that the world would still need to extract massive amounts of carbon from the atmosphere and pump it underground in the latter half of this century.

For example, by 2100, global sea level rise would be 10 centimeters lower with global warming of 1.5 C compared with 2 C.

The headlines about cutting emissions by 45% by 2030 and getting nearly all of our electricity from renewables by the middle of the century, are all very well but a key point of this report is that successfully limiting climate change to 1.5C is not just down to cutting emissions or making lifestyle changes or planting trees - it is all of that and then some, acting in concert at the same time.

"One of the key messages that comes out very strongly from this report is that we are already seeing the consequences of 1°C of global warming through more extreme weather, rising sea levels and diminishing Arctic sea ice, among other changes", said Panmao Zhai, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group I. The IPCC 1.5 report starkly illustrates the difference between temperature rises of 1.5°C and 2°C-for many around the world this is a matter of life and death.

Professor Piers Forster, of the University of Leeds and a lead author of the emissions chapter of the report, told DeSmog all paths to 1.5°C "require deep decarbonization of electricity generation".

"It will take government resolve", he said. The 1.5C cap was set out past year in the worldwide Paris Agreement. There was no mention of oil in this context in the summary.

If the global temperature temporarily exceeds 1.5 C, there may be a greater reliance on techniques that remove Carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to return global temperature to below 1.5 C by 2100.

But the report adds: "The effectiveness of such techniques are unproven at large scale and some may carry significant risks for sustainable development".

Efforts to curb climate change must also extend beyond the 2015 Paris Agreement reached among 197 countries - which President Trump withdrew the United States from in June 2017.

Monday's report was produced by three IPCC working groups. Many observers overseas see President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord as a backward step by the world's second biggest emitter of carbon dioxide.

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