'Unprecedented' Climate Action Needed To Save Planet, Dire Report Warns

Terry Joseph
October 10, 2018

"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 one of the IPCC Working Groups. "Many land and ocean ecosystems and some of the services they provide have already changed due to global warming (high confidence)". The atmosphere is nearly 1 degree Celsius (1.8 Fahrenheit) hotter than it was at the start of the industrial revolution, and burning more fossil fuels will accelerate the shift toward higher temperatures, the group said in its report.

A major report on the impact of global warming, to be published on Monday, will warn about the speed and scale of measures required to keep temperature rises to a level beyond which many vulnerable countries say their survival is at risk. Rather, it states with a high degree of confidence that "human activities are estimated to have caused approximately 1.0°C of global warming above pre-industrial levels, with a likely range of 0.8°C to 1.2°C".

The IPCC's "Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 degrees" was released in Incheon, South Korea, on Monday via a livestream Internet broadcast.

Professor Corinne Le Quere, from the University of East Anglia, said: "For the United Kingdom, this means a rapid switch to renewable energy and electric cars, insulating our homes, planting trees, where possible walking or cycling and eating well - more plants and less meat - and developing an industry to capture carbon and store it underground". 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.

Junaid Ahmad, Country Director, the World Bank, said the world is relying on India more than before to address the challenges of climate change.

The study was urgent because CO2, the main greenhouse gas, reached record levels in the atmosphere past year, and current pledges to cut emissions under the Paris Agreement would lead to warming of about 3 deg C.

"The New York Times: Why Half a Degree of Global Warming Is a Big Deal - "'If you're looking at this one region, which is already water-scarce today and sees a lot of political instability, half a degree makes a really big difference, ' said Carl-Friedrich Schleussner, the head of climate science and impacts at Climate Analytics and the lead author of that study. Then by 2050, we'd have to reduce emissions to zero.

And, in Norfolk, the Green Party says all levels of government, including local councils, need to heed the warning from the scientists who put together the report.

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Authorities have not described what weapons were involved, but Hopkins apparently owned several guns, including an M-14 rifle. Florence Police Chief Allen Heidler estimated Thursday that it took a half-hour to reach some of the wounded officers.

Current government commitments to curb climate change under the Paris pact, even if fully met, would still leave the world on track for warming of about 3 degrees Celsius, scientists said.

Swiftly reducing emissions - even with carbon removal - will also require unprecedented levels of global cooperation, a particular challenge as some national governments, like that in the United States, look increasingly inward.

A landmark United Nations report paints a dire picture of the catastrophic consequences the world will face if immediate action is not taken to limit the global warming to 1.5°C, warning that at 2°C, the world could see 10 cm more global sea level rise, loss of all coral-reefs and worsening food shortages.

"International cooperation is absolutely imperative to limit emissions and therefore global warming and its impacts, as well as coordinating effective and widespread adaptation and mitigation", said Sarah Perkins-Kirkpatrick, a fellow at the Climate Change Research Center at the University of New South Wales.

"Oil use is reduced consistently across most of 1.5°C scenarios, about a 30 to 80 percent reduction from 2010 levels in 2050".

The authors of the IPCC report estimate economic damages from flooding, drought, and other effects by 2040 of $54 trillion.

"Making better decisions on emissions is always going to be helpful - whether it's now, in 5 years or in 20 years", Mr. Schmidt tweeted.

Methods to take excess carbon out of the atmosphere will also be needed.

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