Friday, 19 October, 2018

Terrifying climate change warning: 12 years until we’re doomed

A firefighter fights a blaze near Yosemite National Park in August Handout. Reuters A firefighter fights a blaze near Yosemite National Park in August
Elijah Vega | 10 October, 2018, 23:05

"It's not about remote science; it's about where we live and work", said Dr Debra Roberts.

For some, it could be the difference between "life or death", climate scientist Natalie Mahowald, a lead author on the report, told The Associated Press.

The UN's International Panel on Climate Change's Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius, released on Monday, is a major advance over previous efforts to alert world leaders and citizens to the growing climate risk. At least 70 percent of electricity supply will need to come from renewables by 2050 to stay within the 1.5C limit, compared with about 25 percent now.

However, that changed in 2017 with a 1.4 per cent increase in emissions from China. Emissions per capita in Australia are at their lowest level in a decade'. The number of people exposed to the complex and compounded risks from warming will also increase and the poorest - mostly in Asia and Africa - will suffer the worst impacts.

These carbon dioxide scrubbing techniques would be particularly vital if the global temperature were to briefly peak above 1.5°C before being wrestled back down below the target by the end of the century.

Rachel Kennerley, climate campaigner for Friends of the Earth, said: 'Just like ignoring credit card statements so that repayments only become sharper and steeper, this report shows that weak responses will make it harder in the long-run.

'Right now it's hard, but not impossible, to contain climate chaos, but the window of opportunity will close for good the longer we delay'.

"Such large transitions pose profound challenges for sustainable management of the various demands on land for human settlements, food, livestock feed, fibre, bioenergy, carbon storage, biodiversity and other ecosystem services", the report stated.

European Union officials warned to prepare for no-deal Brexit
However, May has not yet shown the new proposal to Foster, whose party the prime minister depends upon for her Commons majority. She said there was evidence that Brexit was "dislodging long-held red lines about the union".

Currently, the world has seen 1C of warming over the past 115 years, according to a U.S. report last year.

Dr Stephen Cornelius, chief adviser on climate change at WWF, said the world was already seeing the loss of natural habitats and species, shrinking ice caps and rising sea levels.

"The announcements and proposals made by the new administration have not been finalized, they are not based on science and the law and that is not exactly a winning formula when you go to the courts", she said. "We provide a manual of solutions. Solving the climate crisis requires vision and leadership", he continued.

Professor Jim Skea, from Imperial College London and one of the report researchers, said: "The changes that would be needed to keep global warming to 1.5C are really unprecedented in terms of their scale". "If action is not taken it will take the planet into an unprecedented climate future".

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". But the planet would remain under that 1.5-degree threshold.

The report is seen as the main scientific guide for government policymakers on how to implement the 2015 Paris Agreement, which aims to limit the rise in global average temperatures to "well below" 2C above pre-industrial levels, while seeking to tighten the goal to 1.5C.

It was written by 91 authors from 40 countries and approved by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on Saturday.

If that happens, India may face serious consequences, including severe heat-stress in big cities and high air pollution levels, saltwater intrusion in coastal areas triggered by rise in sea levels and increased vulnerability to disasters in high mountain ecosystems, according to experts.

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