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Five things we have learned from the IPCC report
10 October 2018, 11:03 | Edward Lowe
Five things we have learned from the IPCC report
On Monday, a United Nationsreport said that even limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit), below the 2-degree target agreed on in Paris, would entail rapid and unprecedented changes across every aspect of society or the world risks even more extreme weather and loss of species.
Increasingly, you don't have to convince Australian farmers of that.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) discovered that the extra 0.5 C rise would create many more problems, particularly in the poorest parts of the world.
"Today the world's leading scientific experts collectively reinforced what Mother Nature has made clear - that we need to undergo an urgent and rapid transformation to a global clean energy economy", Gore Tweeted.
By largely ignoring such feedbacks, the IPCC report fails to adequately warn leaders about the cluster of six similar climate tipping points that could be crossed between today's temperature and an increase to 1.5 degrees-let alone almost another dozen tipping points between 1.5 and 2 degrees.
This target was long considered the threshold for the most unsafe effects of climate change, including the mass destruction of coral reefs, widespread food shortages, destructive wildfires and coastal flooding.
"There were doubts if we would be able to differentiate impacts set at 1.5C and that came so clearly". Human-produced Carbon dioxide emissions would have to drop by 45 percent from 2010 levels by 2030, reaching "net zero" by 2050, according to the report.
"Scientists might want to write in capital letters, 'ACT NOW IDIOTS", but they need to say that with facts and numbers, ' said Kaisa Kosonen, from Greenpeace, who observed the negotiations.
After the report's publication there were headlines like: "We have 12 years to act on climate change before the world as we know it is lost".
In December 2015, as many as 195 countries reached an agreement in Paris to combat climate change and accelerate and intensify actions and investments needed for a sustainable low-carbon future.
Global net human-caused Carbon dioxide emissions would need to fall by about 45% from 2010 levels by 2030, reaching "net zero" around 2050, says the report.
Society would have to enact "unprecedented" changes to how it consumes energy, travels and builds to meet a lower global warming target or it risks increases in heat waves, flood-causing storms and the chances of drought in some regions, as well as the loss of species, a United Nations report said yesterday.
The report lists various scenarios that might occur if the world hit 2 degrees of warming. If greenhouse gas emissions continue at the status quo, we'll be looking at an increase of as much as 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit above pre-industrial levels by 2040.
Why do we need to limit global warming to 1.5C?
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A recent report, before the IPCC publication, by Oxfam and the World Resources Institute found that reducing SLCPs warranted a much greater focus than it has received in climate change efforts.
Preventing an extra single degree of heat could make a life-or-death difference in the next few decades for multitudes of people and ecosystems on this fast-warming planet, an global panel of scientists reported Sunday.
Studies conservatively estimate sea levels to rise on average by about 50 cm by 2100 in a 2°C warmer world, 10 cm more than for 1.5°C warming.
A summary of the Special Report on Global Warming is available here.
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"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.
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