Wednesday, 17 October, 2018

Scott Morrison Isn't Worried Enough About UN Report On Climate Change

Liberal Senator Zed Seselja READ MOREMinister rejects Paris accord designer's concerns Australia will miss climate targets
Elijah Vega | 10 October, 2018, 01:43

A major report announced that a drastic, "unprecedented" effort by the world's governments is needed to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

According to the authors of the study, limiting the rise in temperature to 1.5 °C, rather than 2°C is vital if humanity hopes to mitigate some of the most devastating effects of climate change. "It is crucial to keep temperature rise well below 1.5 degrees without offsetting, carbon markets, and geoengineering, but the evidence presented by the IPCC shows that there is a narrow and shrinking window in which to do so". If we reach 2 degrees C of warming, the effects will be even more disastrous.

It's still possible to avoid the worst of these predictions, but doing so requires a transformation of the world's energy and economic systems.

This is why the latest report from the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) makes for such alarming reading and demands immediate, concerted action from everyone - particularly our leaders.

"The world we know today is not the world we will see in 50 years" if global warming exceeds 1.5 degrees Celsius, warned Debora Ley, one of 91 authors of the report looking at the feasibility of holding temperature rise to the most ambitious target set in the 2015 Paris Agreement. These heat-trapping gases are the byproduct of industrial processes such as refrigeration and can be eliminated from those processes by re-engineering.

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.

The report stressed the half-degree difference was life changing.

An increase in temperatures of just 1.5C could destroy the Great Barrier Reef, a new report says. In the last few years, some experts have suggested that overshooting the 1.5 C threshold is likely inevitable. When water heats up, it expands meaning when oceans likely continue to rise, the IPCC says, we can expect the oceans to rise between 28 to 98cm by 2100, enough to swamp numerous cities along the USA east coast.

Enable repeats Arc feat for Dettori to deny unlucky Doyle
Gosden also said the owner will make the final decision as to whether Enable will be aimed at November's Breeders' Cup. Her victory was a record fifth Arc win for Dettori who admitted he was more nervous than he had been any other time.

That promise came with plans to cut emissions, but now the IPCC isn't sure we'll get the job done.

According to the IPCC report, however, far deeper cuts - resulting in net zero emissions by 2050 - will be required if the world is to avoid warming beyond 1.5C.

- Half as many people would suffer from lack of water. But that number is an average of temperatures all over the globe, so some places will become significantly hotter. The lower level would mean the Arctic Ocean would be free of sea ice in summer only once per century not at least once a decade under the higher target. These factors could trigger huge migrations of people and mass extinctions of animals.

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.

In 2010, global negotiators adopted a goal of limiting warming to 2 degrees C (3.6 degrees F) since pre-industrial times.

Another recent report from the consulting firm PwC makes it clear that even limiting warming to 2 degrees C will be a stretch: "There seems to be nearly zero chance of limiting warming to well below two degrees (the main goal of the Paris Agreement), though widespread use of carbon capture and storage technologies, including Natural Climate Solutions, may make this possible", it says.

The outcome will determine whether "my grandchildren would get to see handsome coral reefs", Princeton's Oppenheimer said.

"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.

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