Publicado: Mier, Octubre 10, 2018
Ciencia | Por Aurelio Ontiveros

Action Needed Now in Climate Crisis

Action Needed Now in Climate Crisis

With clear benefits to people and natural ecosystems, limiting global warming to 1.5 °C compared to 2 °C could go hand in hand with ensuring a more sustainable and equitable society, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said on Monday.

"Limiting warming to 1.5ºC is possible within the laws of chemistry and physics but doing so would require unprecedented changes", says Jim Skea, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group III, in a press statement. The report was finalised at a special meeting in South Korea last week.

To limit warming to 1.5 degrees would require a roughly fivefold increase in average annual investment in low-carbon energy technologies by 2050, compared with 2015.

With a global temperature increase of 1.5C, there would be a 16 per cent increase in the number of hot days whereas with 2C, this rises further to 25 per cent. That means less fossil fuels for power production, more renewables and finding ways to pull greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere.

The launch of the report will spark renewed calls for governments around the world to act.

The government has been urged to strengthen United Kingdom climate targets and action, to reduce the severity of climate impacts, ranging from extreme weather to rising seas. "Further failure would be an unconscionable betrayal of the planet and future generations".

This means no more Carbon dioxide should be put out than is being removed by current measures, such as planting trees.

An author of the recent report, who spoke on condition of anonymity, says the USA red-flagged several findings of the scientific summary for policymakers, but finally all nations endorsed it.

But it adds if temperatures rise by 2C, the effects will be more pronounced and more people will be put at risk of poverty and water stress, with higher health risks.

Preventing an extra single degree of heat could make a life-or-death difference in the next few decades for multitudes of people and ecosystems on this fast-warming planet, an global panel of scientists reported Sunday.

The scientists said the report was meant to guide more than just governments, however, and that action by everyone - including individuals and businesses - would be required to hold the line on climate change.

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The IPCC does not do any of its own research, so the report draws on more than 6,000 research papers to reach its conclusions.

One of the key goals of the accord was to limit the increase in global temperature to well below 2°C relative to pre-industrial levels, and to attempt a more aspirational goal of containing the rise to 1.5°C by the end of the century.

He was talking to reporters on the sidelines of an event to release a report on "Strengthening Forest Fire Management in India", jointly prepared by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and the World Bank.

"The next few years are probably the most important in human history", Debra Roberts, head of the Environmental Planning and Climate Protection Department in Durban, South Africa, and an IPCC co-chair, told AFP news agency.

"You don't want to live in a 2°C world", Hunter Cutting, Director of Strategic Communications at Climate Nexus who observed the IPCC plenary, told IFLScience. This would require all countries to enhance their existing emission reduction targets under the agreement for the period starting 2020.

The summary backed the use of carbon pricing, and said governments needed to make a decisive shift towards renewable energy.

It warns the world is well off track to keep to the 1.5C limit.

But the report said the efficacy of measures, such as planting forests, bioenergy use or capturing and storing CO2, were unproven at a large scale and carried some risks.

The world is failing in its effort to avert catastrophic climate change, a United Nations panel warned Monday, and the result will be more deaths and climate refugees due to extreme weather and rising seas, a greater rate of species extinction, and reduced economic growth.

Personal changes might include everything from eating less meat to using energy-efficient appliances and reducing air travel, said Patricia Pinho, a Brazilian climate scientist and report author.

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