Published: Tue, October 09, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Like heatwave could hit India again, warns Climate change report

Like heatwave could hit India again, warns Climate change report

Greenpeace activists display a big banner reading "We still have hope, Climate action now!" during an activity prior to a press conference of the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) at Songdo Convensia in Incheon on October 8, 2018. The consensus? It's not looking good.

If nothing is done, Earth can expect heat wave temperatures to rise by 3 degrees Celsius, more frequent or extreme droughts, an increase in deadly hurricanes and as much as 90 percent of coral reefs dying off - including the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, according to the report. But scientists and climate researchers alike were quick to vocalize their doubts about the practicality of this cap.

Scientists, including some from the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, had at the time already sounded alarms over climate change as they said it had "exacerbated" the heat wave in the country.

"With more than 6,000 scientific references cited and the dedicated contribution of thousands of expert and government reviewers worldwide, this important report testifies to the breadth and policyrelevance of the IPCC", said Hoesung Lee, Chair of the IPCC. "It is crucial to keep temperature rise well below 1.5 degrees without offsetting, carbon markets, and geoengineering, but the evidence presented by the IPCC shows that there is a narrow and shrinking window in which to do so". Even if the world manages to shave off that extra 0.5 degrees, we'll still be well on our way to flooded coastlines, intensified droughts and debilitated industries.

The report explains why it's so important that we meet the 1.5 degree target, and how hard that will be to accomplish.

As part of the Paris Agreement in 2015, its creators included the aim of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change by "holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2ºC above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5ºC above pre-industrial levels". The previous IPCC assessment, released in 2014, estimated that the world would breach 1.5 °C by the early 2020s at the current rate of emissions.

"Examples of actions include shifting to low- or zero-emission power generation, such as renewables; changing food systems, such as diet changes away from land-intensive animal products; electrifying transport and developing "green infrastructure", such as building green roofs, or improving energy efficiency by smart urban planning, which will change the layout of many cities", the report said.

Very - the report calls for "rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society".

"While acknowledging the challenges, and differences between the options and national circumstances, political, economic, social and technical feasibility of solar energy, wind energy and electricity storage technologies have substantially improved over the past few years", the report stated.

Tanushree Dutta-Nana Patekar Controversy
A complaint has also been loged against Dutta for allegedly defaming MNS chief Raj Thackeray. He said his lawyer had asked him not to speak to the media.

Climate scientists warn that these goals probably won't be met without some serious new technological firepower created to suck greenhouse gases back out of the air.

"Either we help United Kingdom efforts for meeting the 1.5 degree target, or we sabotage them".

In short, the report's answer for governments is that limiting warming to 1.5 °C would come with large benefits, and it is still technically possible.

If emissions can't be cut to a sufficient degree, researchers will need to devise effective methods of removing Carbon dioxide from the air, such as devoting land to growing trees and biofuel crops, Erik Solheim, executive director of the UN Environment Program, tells The Washington Post.

But the hurdles to clear aren't just technological.

According to the new report, we're already close to blowing past those thresholds, into temperature zones that will have devastating consequences.

President Trump announced in June he would pull out of the Paris accord, saying it would put the US economy at a global disadvantage. WWF calls on leaders to accelerate climate action immediately'. In other words, the administration is arguing that our "fate is already sealed", reports The Washington Post.

Most scenarios in the report suggest that the world would still need to extract massive amounts of carbon from the atmosphere and pump it underground in the latter half of this century.

She said: 'That is the kind of reality we must face if governments don't take notice of this report'.

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