‘Act urgently‚’ say SA experts after UN’s dire global warming warning

Gas boiler

"This report gives policymakers and practitioners the information they need to make decisions that tackle climate change while considering local context and people's needs" comments Debra Roberts, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group II, which addresses the impacts, adaptation and vulnerability factors of climate change.

But turning over much more land for energy production "could have implications for food security, ecosystems and biodiversity", the British scientist warned, as competition for land grows.

Claire Perry, minister for energy and clean growth, said the report should "act as a rallying cry for governments around the world to innovate, invest, and raise ambition to avert catastrophic climate change".

President Trump, who has called climate change a "hoax", has already said the US will pull out of the Paris Climate Accord, which this report said the world is unlikely to meet anyway.

Around 6 percent of insects, 8 percent of plants, and 4 percent of vertebrates are projected to be negatively affected by global warming of 1.5°C, namely by shrinking their natural geographic range, compared with 18 percent of insects, 16 percent of plants and 8 percent of vertebrates for global warming of 2°C. Per the IPCC, humans need to slash carbon output to 45 percent below 2010 levels by 2030 and to straight-up zero by 2050.

Despite saying the new lower goal was not impossible, the scientists on the IPCC panel repeatedly declined to spell out just how feasible it would be for nations to reach this new goal, instead of limiting warming by 2 degrees.

Faced with a major United Nations report that warns of floods, drought, extreme heat and increased poverty should the world not take radical action to address climate change, Donald Trump has been uncharacteristically reluctant to speak out. Any additional carbon dioxide emissions would require removing the harmful gas from the air.

The planet is already two-thirds of the way there, with global temperatures having warmed about 1 degree C. Avoiding going even higher will require significant action in the next few years.




"We need to extend this kind of progress on renewables to other areas".

Without real change, the world is not even on course to reach the 2C target, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, the main scientific guide for governments on how to implement the Paris Agreement.

Limiting warming to "well below" 1.5 degrees hotter than pre-industrial levels was the promise made by governments all over the world at the Paris climate talks in 2015.

So how can we make sure that warming does not exceed 1.5°C and take us into highly risky territory?

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. Even still, it will be extremely hard to achieve and will require drastic and immediate action on an global scale.

Average global temperatures have already soared by an average of 1 degree since the start of the 20th century. The new report will feed into a process called the 'Talanoa Dialogue, ' in which parties to the Paris accord will take stock of what has been accomplished over the past three years. The way we will live in the future will alter depending on the emission pathway we choose to take, and this choice could mean a matter of life and death for many vulnerable communities in India. "It is also expected to drive the loss of coastal resources, and reduce the productivity of aquaculture", the report says. More than 1,000 scientists reviewed the findings. "Climate change is significantly contributing to increased heat-related mortality", the report reads.

If temperatures are allowed to rise to 2C, coral reefs will be wiped out, sea levels will rise by 10cm and 10 million more people will be exposed to flooding, the researchers warn.

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".

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