U.N.: We Have Just 12 Years to Prevent Global Warming Catastrophe

U.N.: We Have Just 12 Years to Prevent Global Warming Catastrophe

U.N.: We Have Just 12 Years to Prevent Global Warming Catastrophe

The IPCC said it was possible to limit rises to 1.5C, but that sea levels would still rise, there would be loss of ecosystems and coral reefs, extinction threats would remain for insects, plants and animals and there was also the prospect of lower crop yields, loss marine fisheries and the disappearance of summer sea ice in the Arctic.

"The next few years are probably the most important in our history", said Debra Roberts, co-chair of the IPCC working group that addresses impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability, in the statement. Scientists have warned that the enormous changes in energy, transportation and land use required to meet this goal are technically possible, but now appear unlikely.

President Trump, who has called climate change a "hoax", has already said the USA will pull out of the Paris Climate Accord, which this report said the world is unlikely to meet anyway. Temperatures would be 1.5C higher between 2030 and 2052 if the world continued at its current pace, it warned.

Researchers found that "human caused" C02 emissions need to be cut by almost half of 2010 levels by the 2030 to starve off the worts effects of climate change.

In 2010, global negotiators adopted a goal of limiting warming to 2 degrees C (3.6 degrees F) since pre-industrial times. "This means that any remaining emissions would need to be balanced by removing Carbon dioxide from the air", it says.

The report said renewable energy would need to supply 70-85 percent of electricity by 2050 to stay within a 1.5C limit, compared with about 25 percent now.

"Let's not forget that Australia accounts for just over one per cent of global emissions, so there are a lot bigger players than us out there impacting on these arrangements", the PM said.

The report is seen as the main scientific guide for government policymakers on how to implement the 2015 Paris Agreement during the Katowice Climate Change Conference in Poland in December.

While the difference between 1.5 deg C and 2 deg C might seem small, some types of climate-change impact will be less severe by limiting global warming.

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"Although the report might appear miserable at first glance, it actually shows the pathways to limit warming to 1.5 degrees and how it is achievable".

While warming of 2C above pre-industrial levels has widely been thought of as the threshold beyond which risky climate change will occur, vulnerable countries such as low-lying island states warn rises above 1.5C will threaten their survival.

If we fail to meet this objective and global temperatures rise by even a mere half a degree Celsius more to 2°C (3.6°F), the effects on our planet are expected to be devastating.

And if we hold warming to 1.5 degrees instead of 2 degrees, the report suggests global sea level rise will be a whole 10 centimetres lower - potentially stopping what the report describes as a "disproportionately rapid evacuation" of people from the tropics. Scientists acknowledged that some set of actions could require a trade-off with sustainable development (a proxy word used for sustainable growth, poverty eradication and better living standards for the poor).

As that would be an "unprecedented" rate of decline, it is more likely the world will overshoot the target, then try to return to it by sucking carbon from the air, scientists said.

"The government will take into account. the recommendations of the [council] and. the IPCC's special report to draw up Hong Kong's long-term decarbonisation strategy up to 2050 by the end of 2019 or early 2020", the spokesman said.

The report also flags up how people could take the initiative by changing their lifestyles, from what they eat to how they travel and heat their homes. But U.S. states led by California and many cities are living up to their commitments to cut greenhouse gas emissions, WMO's Taalas said.

Without real change, the world is not even on course to reach the 2C target, experts said.

Using carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology, the share of gas-fired power would need to be cut to 8 percent and coal to under 2 percent.

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