Dave Elliott: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) SR15 special report looks at how to keep global temperature rise to 1.5 °C. Even if that was possible, impacts would be severe, but they’d be much worse at 2 °C. The IPCC report puts it positively, highlighting a number of climate change impacts that could be avoided by limiting global warming to 1.5 °C compared to 2 °C, or more. For instance, by 2100 global sea level rise would be 10 cm lower with global warming of 1.5 °C compared with 2 °C. The likelihood of an Arctic Ocean free of sea ice in summer would be once per century with global warming of 1.5 °C, compared with at least once per decade with 2 °C. Coral reefs would decline by 70-90% with global warming of 1.5 °C, whereas virtually all (> 99%) would be lost with 2 °C. Even so, it’s all a little sobering, as was Carbon Brief’s attempt to summarize likely impacts.
Physics World 17th Oct 2018 read more »