World

Like heatwave could hit India again, warns Climate change report

Like heatwave could hit India again, warns Climate change report

"Several regional changes in climate are assessed to occur with global warming up to 1.5 degree Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels, including warming of extreme temperatures in many regions (high confidence), increases in frequency, intensity, and/or amount of heavy precipitation in several regions (high confidence), and an increase in intensity or frequency of droughts in some regions (medium confidence)".

The coalition of scientists and policy experts predict the average global temperature will hit the crucial threshold of 1.5C above pre-industrial levels by 2030.

The IPCC report is undeniably grim, but its authors state that the 1.5°C target can still be met if unprecedented, wide-ranging action is taken straight away. 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.

The planet is already two-thirds of the way there, with global temperatures having warmed about 1 degree C.

"Global warming is likely to reach 1.5 C between 2030 and 2052 if it continues to increase at the current rate", the report states.

Can we get climate change under control?

We are going to see extreme heat, and many areas are going to experience droughts or extreme flooding in the coming decades. The world's biggest polluters - China, US, India, EU, Russia and Japan - have a responsibility to lead the efforts.

Preventing an extra single degree of heat could make a life-or-death difference in the next few decades for multitudes of people and ecosystems on this fast-warming planet, an global panel of scientists reported on Sunday. This means any remaining emissions would need to be removed by planting forests, or using carbon capture and storage technology, where emissions from power plants and industry are captured and stored deep underground.

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

Warrick said her organisation intends to campaign for governments to invest in carbon capture technology.




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.

But the effects of not meeting the 1.5C target would mean huge changes to the world.

"There is no definitive way to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 above pre-industrial levels", the United Nations -requested report said. So far, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said that he's "not going to spend money on global climate conferences and all that nonsense", while Deputy PM Michael McCormack described the landmark United Nations warning as "some sort of report" and said Australia will "absolutely" keep relying on coal-fired power.

It's unclear whether the dramatic conclusions of the IPCC's fact-based report can overcome climate denial and galvanize the type of change it calls for.

Measures would have to include reducing man-made carbon emissions by 45 per cent by 2030 from 2010 levels, and reaching "net zero" emissions by 2050, the report said.

Many people might think that they have little personal involvement with any of these - but the IPCC authors say that's not the case.

"Small island nations and poor nations view 1.5 as the target that will guarantee their actual survival", Axios' science editor Andrew Freedman said Monday in an interview on Cheddar.

"The next few years are probably the most important in human history", IPCC co-chair Debra Roberts, head of the Environmental Planning and Climate Protection Department in South Africa, told Agence France-Presse. It also objected to references to the emissions being reduced in keeping with the principle of equity and fairness.

Now though, with the benefit of lots of hard science since the last major report four years ago, the message is grimmer. The likelihood of an Arctic Ocean free of sea ice in summer would be once per century with global warming of 1.5°C, compared with at least once per decade with 2°C. 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. Technologically, economically, and politically the challenge is enormous, "indicative both of the scale of the challenge and the resistance [the effort will] face", notes Shindell, who also contributed to the report.


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