Thursday, 18 October, 2018

United Nations warns world must take "unprecedented" steps on global warming

Andrew Steer Temperatures to rise 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2030-2052 without rapid steps: UN report
Theresa Hayes | 10 October, 2018, 23:05

"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.

Last-ditch efforts to hold climate change to the most ambitious target set by governments will likely require using every available technique rather than picking and choosing the most attractive ones, climate scientists said on Monday. The events are being reported as two parts of the same story, but they reveal the contradictions inherent in climate policy-and why economics matters more than ever.

Climate Change Conference, scheduled for December in Katowice, Poland, which marks the deadline for nations implementing the 2015 Paris agreement. Any additional emissions would require the removal of Carbon dioxide from the air.

More than ninety-one authors and review editors from 40 countries contributed to the findings which were launched in Incheon in South Korea on October 8 in front of all 195 signed on parties of the Paris Agreement. Adding 50 percent more warming to reach 1.5 degrees won't simply increase impacts by the same percentage-bad as that would be. He says preventing the world temperature from rising by one-half degree Celsius would make a huge difference in the well-being of the planet. The IPCC said it was possible to limit rises to 1.5C, but that sea levels would still rise, there would be loss of ecosystems and coral reefs, extinction threats would remain for insects, plants and animals and there was also the prospect of lower crop yields, loss marine fisheries and the disappearance of summer sea ice in the Arctic.

The report lists various scenarios that might occur if the world hit 2 degrees of warming.

"The new report from the IPCC has served as a final warning that we must get our act together - now and quickly", said Sunita Narain, director general of the Centre for Science Environment (CSE) while asking the global communities to build a coalition to support the massive transformation required to achieve the 1.5-degree target.

The dramatic report warned that the planet is now heading to warm by 3C - and to slash that to less than 1.5C as laid out in the Paris agreement will require "rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society".

Action in cities - which consume more than two-thirds of energy globally and account for about three-quarters of carbon emissions - are pivotal to meeting the target, said report author William Solecki, a professor at Hunter College-City University of NY. However, Washington did not obstruct the report, as some had expected. "The next few years are probably the most important in our history".

However, they provide little hope humanity will rise to the challenge. But current nationally determined pledges to take action to reduce warming, when combined, are emphatically "not on track to limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels". Coral reefs would decline by a still unsustainable 70 percent to 90 percent instead of being virtually wiped out under the higher increase.

One of the authors of the report quoted earlier, who did not wish to be named, said, "The US had issues with the conclusions, but finally the report were endorsed by all nations".

Small islands and coastal cities such as NY and Mumbai risk going underwater without the installation of sea barriers.

By 2050, emissions of other heat-trapping greenhouse gasses, including methane and black carbon, should be reduced by 35%, relative to the 2010 rate.

"Urban systems that are moving towards transformation are coupling solar and wind with battery storage and electric vehicles in a more incremental transition, though this would still require changes in regulations, tax incentives, new standards, demonstration projects and education programs to enable markets for this system to work", the IPCC report said.