Published: Wed, October 10, 2018
Sci-tech | By Carrie Guzman

Climate change report urges immediate action

Climate change report urges immediate action

The IPCC report said, "At +1.5 degrees Celsius, twice as many mega cities as present such as Lagos in Nigeria and Shanghai in China are likely to become heat stressed, potentially exposing more than 350 million more people to deadly heat stress by 2050".

The report notes differences between allowing global temperature to rise by 1.5 and 2.0 degrees Celsius, and says that in order to get greenhouse emissions down 45% by 2030, it'll have to be curbing emissions, altering lifestyles, and planting trees "acting in concert at the same time".

"We are already seeing the consequences of 1 degree Celsius of global warming through more extreme weather, rising sea levels and diminishing Arctic sea ice, among other changes", said Panmao Zhai, one of the report's authors.

The US government also intends to freeze mandates that ensure new cars pollute less and cut limits on the greenhouse gas methane that is released during oil production.

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

"Every extra bit of warming matters, especially since warming of 1.5 C or higher increases the risk associated with long-lasting or irreversible changes, such as the loss of some ecosystems", said Hans-Otto Portner, a German scientist who co-chaired one of the panel's working groups.

Allowing the global temperature to temporarily exceed or "overshoot" 1.5ºC would mean a greater reliance on techniques that remove Carbon dioxide from the air to return global temperature to below 1.5°C by 2100.

The report suggests that coral reefs would decline by 70-90 percent with global warming of 1.5°C, whereas virtually all ( 99 percent) would be lost with 2ºC.

"The announcements and proposals made by the new administration have not been finalized, they are not based on science and the law and that is not exactly a winning formula when you go to the courts", she said. With global temperatures around 1°C (1.8°F) above pre-industrial levels at present, severe forest fires, hurricanes, and droughts are already ravaging nations around the world.

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Although he didn't specify which reports he was referring to, he has often cited research by the conservative-leaning Heritage Foundation when trying to make the case that cutting carbon emissions would have little effect on global temperatures.

The IPCC suggests the transport carbon footprint could be reduced through people opting to use public transport auto sharing arrangements and hybrid or electric cars instead of planes and motor vehicles.

"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.

The IPCC warning comes as the political battle around Canada's climate change policies heats up. Climate Change Conference, scheduled for December in Katowice, Poland, which marks the deadline for nations implementing the 2015 Paris agreement.

Developing nations and least developed countries have been asking developed nations, particularly the USA, to take historical and moral responsibility for being one of the largest greenhouse gas emitters.

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

"There are some areas we are making progress quickly enough that they are compatible with 1.5C, the example of renewables is one, where we've seen costs falling and deployment across the world". Instead, Trump has advocated for more coal energy and loosened regulations on vehicle emissions.

"It also means adapting to the growing impacts of climate change that are felt here, particularly to the increasing flood risks from heavy rainfall and from sea level rise along our coasts".

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