IPCC: Report makes case for more ambitious global climate pact

10 Octobre, 2018, 01:45 | Auteur: Therese Cote
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A special report released by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on Sunday night said "rapid and far-reaching" changes were needed to keep the global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees Celsius from pre-industrial times.

The consequences of a 1.5°C rise include extreme temperatures in many regions across the world, increases in frequency, intensity and/or amount of heavy precipitation, and an increase in intensity or frequency of droughts in some regions.

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.

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. "However, time is running out, so we must capitalize and build on the solutions available today". To do that, nations agreed to cut their emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases.

"Keeping warming below 1.5C will be very, very hard", said Dessler. If we hit 2 degrees of warming, the effects will be even worse. But the planet would remain under that 1.5-degree threshold. 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.

"E$3 ven with erroneous attribution of extreme weather/climate events and projections using climate models that are running too hot and not fit for objective of projecting 21st century climate change, the IPCC still has not made a strong case for this massive investment to prevent 1.5C warming", she said on her Climate Etc. blog. More than 90 global megacities, part of the C40 coalition, have pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

"I just don't see the possibility of doing the one and a half" and even 2 degrees looks unlikely, said Appalachian State University environmental scientist Gregg Marland, who isn't part of the United Nations panel but has tracked global emissions for decades for the U.S. Energy Department.

Countries are already seeing an increase in extreme weather and rising sea levels as a result of the increase in average global temperatures of 1 degree above pre-industrial levels that has already occurred, the IPCC study said. But if warming stops at 2 degrees, more than 99% of reefs could disappear. The Arctic, for example, is likely to be several degrees warmer, increasing ice melt and sea level rise. These factors could trigger huge migrations of people and mass extinctions of animals. Between 10 and 30 per cent of coral reef could be saved from obliteration, according to the IPCC report. If they act now, they can seize new opportunities from innovative technologies, rather than risk onerous costs as climate change makes previous business models unsustainable.

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President Trump announced in June he would pull out of the Paris accord, saying it would put the US economy at a global disadvantage.

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

To contain warming at 1.5C, man-made global net carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions would need to fall by about 45 percent by 2030 from 2010 levels and reach "net zero" by mid-century. Collapse of coral reefs would be essentially ensured.

"The next few years are probably the most important in human history", Debra Roberts, head of the Environmental Planning and Climate Protection Department in Durban, South Africa, and an IPCC co-chair, told AFP news agency.

This story originally appeared in the New York Post.

At 2 degrees C, we'd expect "disproportionately rapid evacuation from the tropics", according to the report.

There are financial estimates of the damage, too.

"The policy implications of the report are obvious: We need to implement a suite of policies to sharply limit carbon emissions and build climate resilience, and we must do all this is in a way that prioritizes equitable outcomes particularly for the world's poor and marginalized communities", Cleetus added.

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