In-depth Q&A: The IPCC’s special report on climate change at 1.5C.
Carbon Brief 8th Oct 2018 read more »
The good news from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is that slower climate warming is still within reach. With an enormous and united effort, it says, the world is certainly still capable of keeping global temperatures from increasing by more than 1.5˚C over historic levels (they’ve already risen by over 1˚C). The more worrying findings in the IPCC’s report, described by one scientist as “historic”, show that the impacts of even 1.5˚C of warming are far greater than previously thought, and that the problem is far more urgent than most governments have acknowledged.
Climate News Network 8th Oct 2018 read more »
Here are some key takeaways from the report (and the wider literature around 1.5). Parts of the world – Africa, the Middle East etc – are already very hot so an extra 0.5 degrees is kind of a big deal. 1.5, which is already half a degree warmer than what we have today, could lead to twice as many heatwaves in Africa by the end of the century — and 2C would lead to even more. While the world’s hot places get hotter, the world’s coldest places are going to be significantly less cold. The Arctic is warming at twice the rate of the rest of the world, with record-low sea ice levels becoming a regular occurrence in recent years. Now if the world were to warm by 2C, we’re looking at the prospect of ice-free Arctic seas once-per-decade rather than a one-per-century happening under 1.5. 1.5 could save roughly 2 million km2 of the permafrost, the frozen rocks and soil at the Earth’s poles. That’s especially important because buried within that permafrost are vast reserves of carbon and methane, which if released could pack the atmosphere with fresh greenhouse gases that would accelerate climate change. Even 1.5 warming could see 46 million people (who currently live in coastal regions) at risk of permanent inundation from higher sea levels. But ultimately we’d be looking at roughly 8cm less sea level rise by the end of the century and up to 10 million fewer people exposed to the associated risks. There are few places in the world feeling the brunt of higher temperatures than warm-water coral reefs. That half degree more warming could mean twice as many vertebrate species lose more than half of their hoard (4 vs 8%) and an even greater proportion of invertebrates (6 vs 18%). The proportion of the world population exposed to a climate-induced increase in water scarcity could be reduced by up to 50% if warming stays put at 1.5. The number of people exposed to lower crop yields around the world is 10x greater in a 2C world vs 1.5C. If global temperatures continue to rise at the current rate, we’re expected to cross the 1.5C threshold between 2030 and 2052.
Unearthed 8th Oct 2018 read more »
BBC environment correspondent Matt McGrath outlines five key takeaways from one of the most important reports on rising temperatures issued by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Their study, on the impacts and possible methods of keeping temperatures from warming by more than 1.5C, has just been launched in South Korea. It is ‘seriously alarming’ but surprisingly hopeful.
BBC 8th Oct 2018 read more »
What could a difference of 1.5C and 2C mean? The science shows that a 2C rise will lead to greater sea level rises, more heatwaves and extreme rainstorms, more people facing water shortages and drought, lower yields for some crops and greater impacts on wildlife than 1.5C. Data from Carbon Brief highlights a number of the impacts in the 0.5C difference. Among them, sea le vel rises would be around 48cm if the temperature was 1.5C and 56cm for 2C. In essence the result of this have devastating effects on coastal habitats. As seawater reaches farther inland, it can cause destructive erosion, aquifer and agricultural soil contamination, wetland flooding, and a loss of habitat for fish, birds, and plants. In addition, the number of global marine heatwave days in a year rises significantly too – for 1.5C, it goes up 16 times, and for 2C it is 23 times. When water heats up, it expands meaning when oceans likely continue to rise, the IPCC says, we can expect the oceans to rise between 28 to 98cm by 2100, enough to swamp many of the cities along the U.S. east coast. More worrying estimates include a complete meltdown of the Greenland ice sheet, and rising sea levels that would be enough to submerge London, National Geographic reported.
The iNews 8th Oct 2018 read more »
Britain’s biggest companies have called on Government to legislate even tougher climate change goals in the wake of the International Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) special report this week. The alliance of major companies including John Lewis Partnership, Marks & Spencer and BT together with City giants Aviva Investors and Legal & General said the UK should accelerate its drive to cut emissions to “unlock a significant innovation and investment opportunity”. The Aldersgate Group, which also includes Ikea and manufacturer Siemens, spoke out following a landmark report from the UN’s IPCC that warned that global warming must be kept below 1.5 degrees Celsius from pre-industrialised levels to avoid a climate catastrophe.
Telegraph 8th Oct 2018 read more »
World leaders have been told they have moral obligation to ramp up their action on the climate crisis in the wake of a new UN report that shows even half a degree of extra warming will affect hundreds of millions of people, decimate corals and intensify heat extremes. But the muted response by Britain, Australia and other governments highlights the immense political challenges facing adoption of pathways to the relatively safe limit of 1.5C above pre-industrial temperatures outlined on Monday by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). With the report set to be presented at a major climate summit in Poland in December, known as COP24, there is little time for squabbles. The report noted that emissions need to be cut by 45% by 2030 in order to keep warming within 1.5C. That means decisions have to be taken in the next two years to decommission coal power plants and replace them with renewables, because major investments usually have a lifecycle of at least a decade. Mary Robinson, a UN special envoy on climate, said Europe should set an example by adopting a target of zero-carbon emissions by 2050. “Before this, people talked vaguely about staying at or below 2C – we now know that 2C is dangerous,” she said. “So it is really important that governments take the responsibility, but we must all do what we can.” Politicians, scientists and climate activists will hold a meeting chaired by Lord Krebs, former member of the Committee on Climate Change, in parliament on Wednesday to discuss the new 1.5C report and consider policy options. Among those attending will be Jim Skea, a co-chair of the IPCC working group on mitigation. “My biggest hope is that they [political leaders] take this seriously,” Skea said. “We can’t carry on with business as usual or minor changes.”
Guardian 8th Oct 2018 read more »
The Trump administration has entered Stage 5 climate denial. If we’re already doomed to disastrous climate change, then there’s no reason to cut carbon pollution, argues the Trump administration.
Guardian 8th Oct 2018 read more »