Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

Trump sceptical of United Nations climate change report findings

Act Now, Idiots: Everything You Need To Know About The UN Climate Change Report What the shock UN climate report means for Southern Africa
Sandy Nunez | 10 October, 2018, 02:57

"And now more than ever we know that every bit of warming matters".

A Scottish government spokesperson said: "In line with our evidence based approach to tackling climate change, we are committed to considering the report carefully, including seeking updated independent, expert advice from the UK Committee on Climate Change on its implications for our targets".

The global scientific authority on climate change, the IPCC, said the planet has 12 years with which to possibly achieve the 1.5-degree target, but it would require "transformational" change across all areas of society.

When countries signed the Paris agreement, the consequences of a 1.5-degree temperature rise weren't very clear, IPCC chair Hoesung Lee said at a press conference. 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.

But those past predictions appear to have been far too conservative (a common critique of IPCC reports in general).

The report further revealed that global warming has already had an effect in regions across the world.

In the conclusions, ministers also react to the special report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels which was published yesterday. Temperatures would be 1.5C higher between 2030 and 2052 if the world continued at its current pace, it warned.

Half a degree more (about.9 F) might sound small. The Arctic, which would be ice-free about once per century at 1.5 degrees of temperature rise, would be ice-free once per decade at 2 degrees.

In the 728-page document, the United Nations organization detailed how Earth's weather, health and ecosystems would be in better shape if the world's leaders could somehow limit future human-caused warming to just 0.9 degrees Fahrenheit (a half degree Celsius) from now, instead of the globally agreed-upon goal of 1.8 degrees F (1 degree C). Even still, it will be extremely hard to achieve and will require drastic and immediate action on an global scale.

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But the agreement's more ambitious goal was to prevent temperatures from rising more than 1.5 degrees C. That's because even 1.5 degrees of warming will cause catastrophic effects, including more intense storms, searing heat waves, mass extinctions, and droughts.

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.

If governments fail to ramp up their ambition to reduce heat-trapping emissions over the next two years, they will have consciously abandoned the 1.5 degree goal, he added.

At the same time, the world must all but completely phase out coal, while boosting renewable energy by almost 50 percent.

"Urban systems that are moving towards transformation are coupling solar and wind with battery storage and electric vehicles in a more incremental transition, though this would still require changes in regulations, tax incentives, new standards, demonstration projects and education programs to enable markets for this system to work", the IPCC report said.

Given humanity's track record, this dramatic and unprecedented action seems unlikely.

Limiting the temperature rise to 1.5 °C could also protect several hundred million people, including those living in some of the least developed countries, from slipping into poverty and disadvantage by 2050 due to climate-related risks, as would be the case under the 2°C scenario.

I have been heartened over the past year by the determination of countless Americans to reaffirm their commitment to the Paris Agreement and to keep taking climate change seriously, from state governors and city mayors to business leaders, labour unions, faith groups and ordinary citizens. At 1.5 degrees, fewer species would go extinct.