In 2015, nations agreed to limit warming to 2 C as part of the Paris Agreement, which many consider the upper threshold before irreversible and catastrophic damage is done to the planet. A more ambitious, but non-binding goal, of 1.5 C was set as well, at the urging of more vulnerable countries that called 2 C warming a death sentence.
First, the way it was assembled. Although the report presents no new science of its own, its survey of more than 6,000 studies is meticulous. With every passing year scientists amass more data about how the climate has already changed. And, as many people battered in Florida this week by Hurricane Michael will attest, it is changing faster than anyone foresaw even two decades ago. This new knowledge, together with improved understanding of the complex climate system, makes projections like those the IPCC has compiled more compelling. Uncertainties remain; individual research contained within the report may yet be challenged. But in study after study, page after page, fact after fact, the evidence for anthropogenic climate change, long clear, is harder than ever to ignore.
Climate scientist says UN climate claims are nonsense, coral reefs are not in danger
At 1.5 C warming, the world can keep “a semblance” of the ecosystems we have now, according to IPCC.
According to IPCC’s report, with 2 C warming since pre-industrial times, sea levels would rise 0.1 metres more, there would be more heat waves, droughts and downpours, and will run the risk of the West Antarctic ice sheet irreversibly melting.
As well, there is a chance to save the coral reefs with 1.5 C warming, as opposed to no chance at 2 C, according to the report.
Half a degree more may sound small, but the number is an average of temperatures around the globe, meaning some places will become significantly hotter. The Arctic, for example, is likely to be several degrees warmer, increasing the amount of ice that will melt and how high sea levels will rise.
As well, around the Mediterranean, freshwater availability will drop almost twice as much at 2 C compared to 1.5 C warming — down 17 per cent versus nine per cent, according to the report.
End of the world as we know it
The report also shows that extreme heat would be much more common, with 37 per cent of the world population exposed to extreme heat at 2 C rather than 14 per cent at 1.5 C, with the tropics experiencing the biggest increase in “highly unusual” hot days.
Sea levels would be at least 10 centimetres higher by the end of the century at 2 C warming than they would at 1.5 C, causing mass migration from areas that may be flooded, warns the UN report.
Climate Change Is Transforming Business
Unfortunately, humans are well on track to passing 2 C and to limit warming to 1.5 C would require immediate, draconian cuts to emissions, which the UN sees little chance of happening.
New Climate Report Was Too Cautious, Some Scientists Say
Even worse, if we remain at our current levels of emissions, we are on a path to warming 4 C above pre-industrial levels by 2100, which if reached would trigger a chain of cataclysmic changes that include extreme heatwaves, declining global food stocks, substantial species extinctions and sea-level rising that would affect hundreds of millions of people, according to the report.
The latest report on global warming makes grim reading
A climate scientist said Australias coral reefs are not in danger in the wake of a UN report on climate change that he says is helping to overturn industrial civilisation.
An Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report released earlier this week forecast doom if coal-fired power is not ended within 32 years, worldwide.
It predicted up to 90 per cent of coral reefs would be lost if the earth warmed by 1.5 degrees Celcius by 2100, prompting fears for Australias Great Barrier Reef.
The latest IPCC report said coral such as Australias Great Barrier Reef (pictured) would vanish unless the world phases out coal power 32 years. Professor Lindzen says this is nonsense