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United Nations Climate Report Warns Miami Basically Screwed

United Nations Climate Report Warns Miami Basically Screwed”

The report was prepared at the request of governments when the global pact to tackle climate change was agreed in Paris almost three years ago.

Even with the promises countries have made as part of the Paris Agreement to cut the greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming, the world is set to breach the 1.5C threshold by around 2040.

This would mean replacing petrol and diesel cars with electric vehicles or other clean alternatives and scrapping the use of gas boilers in homes in just a few decades.

A new report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) suggests we are on our last lap, and the homestretch is even shorter than we thought. But while they conclude that it is technically possible to achieve the rapid changes required to avoid 2.7 degrees of warming, they concede that it may be politically unlikely.

A particular stand-out figure is the revelation that we've warmed the planet by one degree above pre-industrial levels already - and are feeling the effects right now.

The United Nations' climate panel has moved the goal posts for limiting climate change, setting the world a staggering challenge.

While businesses, sub-national governments and many countries have committed to climate action, and achieved some progress - see the $9 trillion We're Still In Campaign - slow movement from those that profit off fossil fuels and staunch resistance from parties like the Trump administration have made collective action hard.

The launch of the report will spark renewed calls for governments around the world to act.

Deep in the report, scientists say less than 2 percent of 529 of their calculated possible future scenarios kept warming below the 1.5 goal without the temperature going above that and somehow coming back down in the future.

This means that any remaining emissions would need to be balanced by removing Carbon dioxide from the air.

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The study was urgent because CO2, the main greenhouse gas, reached record levels in the atmosphere a year ago, and current pledges to cut emissions under the Paris Agreement would lead to warming of about 3 deg C.

Dr Jenifer Baxter, head of engineering at the UK's Institution of Mechanical Engineers, said the IPCC's target to generate 70-80% electricity from renewables is ambitious, adding there is a need to "look at the broader picture" and focus on reducing the carbon intensity of the whole electricity system.

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"There is no definitive way to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 above pre-industrial levels", the United Nations -requested report said.

The research will be a key piece of scientific input used by signatories in the coming conference as they negotiate critical aspects of global climate policy.

"The overarching context of this report is this: human influence has become a principal agent of change on the planet", adding that "the spread of fossil-fuel-based material consumption and changing lifestyles is a major driver of global resource use, and the main contributor to rising greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions".

"We have a monumental task in front of us, but it's not impossible", study co-author and climate scientist Natalie Mahowald of Cornell University tells Joyce at NPR. The problem with even a slight shift in goals is that the scientific work done in advance of the worldwide talks hadn't provided results for a 1.5°C scenario. By 2100, global sea level rises would be 10 cm lower with global warming of 1.5°C compared with 2°C, and coral reefs would decline by 70-90% with global warming of 1.5°C, whereas virtually all (99%) would be lost with 2ºC.

To meet the 1.5 degree target, coal consumption would need to be cut by at least two thirds by 2030 and fall to nearly zero in electricity production by 2050. The IPCC also included one scenario that would overshoot the 1.5°C target. But efforts to reduce emissions are lagging in freight, aviation, and shipping, and in industry, he said.

"We need radical and systemic change", Li said. "Global warming is likely to reach 1.5 degree Celsius between 2030 and 2052 if it continues to increase at the current rate".

"There are material differences between 1.5 C and 2 C", says Cleetus. And if we don't pull finger now we'll need to start growing crops in order to burn them for electricity and then store their ashes. When the next climate talks happen this December, the new report is created to give governments the incentive to go much further, faster.



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