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Terrifying climate change warning: 12 years until we’re doomed

11 October 2018

Based on more than 6,000 scientific references across 40 countries, the report outlines the impacts of global warming.

For the first time, the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report includes suggestions for how consumers can help tackle climate change - including changes in consumption and lifestyle choices. To limit warming to around 1.5°C with no or limited overshoot, global net carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions need to decline by about 45% from 2010 levels by 2030 and reach net zero around mid-century.

That benchmark is lower than the one set by the global Paris Agreement, which aimed to prevent the planet from warming by 3 degrees Celsius.

What's the difference? With a 1.5-degree rise, about 14 percent of the world's population would be vulnerable to severe and deadly heat waves every five years; with a 2-degree rise, that figure jumps to 37 percent.

Studies conservatively estimate sea levels to rise on average by about 50 cm by 2100 in a 2°C warmer world, 10 cm more than for 1.5°C warming.

The report warned that half a degree increase in global warming temperature is a big deal and can have catastrophic consequences which will be there for people to see in their current lifetimes. Even worse, Trump is aggressively trying to increase reliance on coal, which contributes a disproportionate amount of carbon dioxide emissions compared with other fossil fuels.

In the meantime, the benefits of limiting global warming should inspire us to continue our fight to provide a safe planet for current and future generations.

Canada would have to cut its emissions nearly in half over the next 12 years to meet the stiffer targets dozens of worldwide climate change experts say is required to prevent catastrophic results from global warming. Losing the ice would tremendously increase the Arctic's warming, which is already at least twice the global average rate.

While the report had unfavourable findings, it also said that it's not too late to act: "Limiting warming to 1.5ºC is possible within the laws of chemistry and physics but doing so would require unprecedented changes", said Jim Skea, co-chair of one of the IPCC's working groups.

Adaptation needs are also more moderate at the 1.5 °C threshold, though adaptation limits (the point at which there are no feasible adaptation options available to avoid a given climate risk) may still be exceeded for threats including partial coral reef loss and stress to coastal-dependent communities.

As part of the decision to adopt the Paris Agreement, the IPCC was invited to produce, in 2018, a Special Report on global warming of 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways.

And all net carbon emissions would have to be eliminated by 2050 rather than by 2080 as now targeted.

He said by 2050, renewables would need to generate between 70 and 85 percent of global electricity to meet a 1.5°C target.

Experts have said "unprecedented" should take place and said the report should urge governments to invest in clean growth and renewable energy.

"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.

However, all methods "are at different stages of development and some are more conceptual than others, as they have not been tested at scale", the report warned.

The president in recent months has slammed wind power as a subsidy-dependent "killing field" for birds, all while rolling back a slew of regulations to boost the coal sector.

This report says that the world doesn't have to come up with some magic machines to curb climate change - we've already got all the tech we need.

Terrifying climate change warning: 12 years until we’re doomed