Days ahead of the IPCC release, for instance, the conservative, climate-change-denying Heartland Institute circulated a pro-fossil-fuel report from the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (a group whose scientific rigor has always been questioned) that contends that "the global war on fossil fuels.was never founded on sound science or economics".
The report drew dire headlines such as CNN's "12 years to stop climate catastrophe", and The Washington Post's "The world has just over a decade to get climate change under control, United Nations scientists say".
Scientists with the Nobel Prize-winning IPCC said in order to have even a 50-50 chance of staying under the 1.5 degree cap, the world must become "carbon neutral" by 2050. A seemingly small 1.5-degree-Celsius bump in temperature would also alter weather worldwide, wreaking havoc on agriculture and natural ecosystems, and cost about $54 trillion in damages, according to the report.
The report's authors take at least one optimistic tone on carbon capture technology, which has so far been too expensive to implement widely but could hold promise for reversing emissions even after the 1.5 degree benchmark is breached.
"Climate change is already affecting people, eco systems and livelihoods all around the world", he says.
The report estimates that sea-level rise in the year 2100 would be around 10 centimeters lower in a 1.5°C world than a 2.0°C world.
As opposed to one sea ice-free Arctic summer per decade with 2°C global warming, one sea ice-free Arctic summer is projected per century with 1.5°C of global warming. Coral reefs would decline by a still unsustainable 70 percent to 90 percent instead of being virtually wiped out under the higher target.
A key finding of the new IPCC report is the dramatic difference that restricting warming to 1.5C above pre industrial levels would have on the global environment.
The United States is not alone in failing to reduce emissions enough to prevent the worst effects of climate change.
The planet is already two-thirds of the way there, with global temperatures having warmed about 1 degree C.
The report was commissioned by world leaders as a part of the 2015 Paris Agreement, a global pact to battle global warming. The not-so-great news? They need to accelerate.
"The best way to remove carbon dioxide from the air", explains MIT engineer Howard Herzog in his book Carbon Capture, is "to not release it into the air in the first place", Joyce reports. At the rate we're going, global temperatures are set to hit the mark by 2040-unless a lot changes, and fast. It encompasses 195 member states and is tasked with assessing science related to climate change and providing guidelines for policy makers.
"With more than 6,000 scientific references cited and the dedicated contribution of thousands of expert and government reviewers worldwide, this important report testifies to the breadth and policyrelevance of the IPCC", said Hoesung Lee, Chair of the IPCC.
Limiting warming to 0.9 degrees from now means the world can keep "a semblance" of the ecosystems we have. Per the IPCC, humans need to slash carbon output to 45 percent below 2010 levels by 2030 and to straight-up zero by 2050.
"The window on keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees C is closing rapidly and the current emissions pledges made by signatories to the Paris Agreement do not add up to us achieving that goal", said King. Yesterday's report made it very clear that actually, global warming of 2°C would be really unsafe.
"The level of carbon-free generation needed to meet the 1.5°C pathway will need more than lithium-ion batteries, even if resource constraints can be resolved", said Manghani.
Still, Cleetus says that we have most of the technology we need to make the change. Among other measures, the IPCC says, coal needs to be all but eliminated as a source of electricity, renewable power must be greatly expanded, and "negative-emissions" strategies that suck carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere need to be adopted on a large scale, particularly if emissions reductions are delayed.
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