1.5° climate warming impacts 'far greater than previously thought'

A chart that's part of a new report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change shows a range of global warming pos

The Indian government urged all countries including the United States to act like a global community when it comes to fighting climate change and not deny the real impacts many parts of the world are already facing.

RenewableUK executive director Emma Pinchbeck said: "This report warns that the unsafe effects of climate change will hit us sooner than most people had thought, unless we take much faster, much deeper action to limit potentially devastating global temperature rises by slashing carbon emissions to net zero by 2050".

Coal consumption by Indian thermal generators needs to be cut by two thirds within 2030 and to nearly zero by 2050 if India has to limit temperature rise to 1.5 degrees said Greenpeace India in a statement. "We're now heading for about 3 degrees or 4 degrees Celsius of warming by 2100".

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 Sunday. But the IPCC report sidestepped questions of feasibility and focused instead on determining what governments, businesses and individuals would need to do to meet the 1.5 °C goal.

The report notes that we are now at a warming of about 1.0°C, with the warming trend rolling along at 0.2±0.1°C per decade.

Meeting the 1.5C limit would demand "rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented change in all aspects of society", the panel said.

In what IPCC chair Hoesung Lee, a South Korean economist, called "a Herculean effort", more than 90 authors and reviewers from 40 countries examined 6,000 scientific publications. For instance, by 2100, global sea level rise would be 10 cm lower with global warming of 1.5 degrees compared with 2 degrees.

Global temperatures have risen 1 degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels, researchers said, citing human activity and greenhouse gas emissions.

RealClimateScience.com's Tony Heller ticked off past failed predictions of global-warming disaster, such as a 1989 U.N. warning that "entire nations could be wiped from the face of the earth" by rising seas unless global warming was reversed by 2000.

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Temperatures have already risen an average 1C since the mid-1800s as industrialisation fuels the growth of carbon dioxide emissions (CO2), the main greenhouse gas blamed for climate change.

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

"The window on keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees C is closing rapidly and the current emissions pledges made by signatories to the Paris Agreement do not add up to us achieving that goal", said King.

"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 good news is that some of the kinds of actions that would be needed to limit global warming to 1.5 °C are already underway around the world, but they would need to accelerate", said Valerie Masson-Delmotte, Co-Chair of Working Group I.

What is of particular concern is that the report lowers the level after which disastrous climate change is anticipated: Previous research had set the critical threshold at 2ºC of warming. At least 70 percent of electricity supply will need to come from renewables by 2050 to stay within the 1.5C limit, compared with about 25 percent now.

"And now more than ever we know that every bit of warming matters", Krug said. Temperatures would be 1.5C higher between 2030 and 2052 if the world continued at its current pace, it warned.

Debra Roberts, co-chair of IPCC Working Group II (which assesses the impacts of climate change) said the report gives policymakers and practitioners "the information they need to make decisions that tackle climate change while considering local context and people's needs".

"We have noticed decline or regression in funding and the mantra being presented by developed countries is for developing countries to do more with less, use your own resources, take more loans and seek money from private sources and other non state actors", he said. These include impacts such as "unique and threatened ecosystems and cultures" (such as coral reefs) and "extreme weather events", each of which is rated on a scale from "undetectable" to "very high". But it is not just electricity: transport, buildings and industry would have to become significantly cleaner.


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