The Paris Agreement was adopted by 195 countries at the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in December 2015, and created to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change.
In the end, the Paris Agreement noted that nations were striving to keep warming "well below" 2°C.
Many illustrations are given for the difference between 1.5℃ and 2℃ worlds.
"The reality is that we're very off track from where we need to be", says Rachel Cleetus, policy director for the Climate and Energy Program at the nonprofit Union of Concerned Scientists, who was not involved with the new report.
The report laid out how the changes to climate, environment and human life would be less devastating and unsafe if the global temperature rise is contained at below 1.5 degree instead of 2 degree Celsius - the existing primary goal of the Paris Agreement.
Rising said: "The IPCC report highlights the proven qualities of nuclear energy as a highly effective method of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, as well as providing secure, reliable and scalable electricity supplies". But when you put numbers on these things, some effects are particularly notable, and the roadmap to emissions cuts becomes crystal clear.
This report shows the longer we leave it to act, the more hard, the more expensive and the more risky it will be. Avoiding going even higher will require significant action in the next few years. And temperatures are expected to rise 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels by 2030 if greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise at their current rates, according to the report. This included a push to drop references to how historically accumulated emissions in the atmosphere, and not just the current flow of emissions, have caused climate change. This impacts agriculture across the world and a global temperature rise of 2C means that the global yield of wheat across existing farmland would entirely be wiped out. When sea ice melts, it reveals dark water underneath, which absorbs more heat and in turn triggers greater warming, in a constant feedback loop.
It said, "Climate-related risks for natural and human systems are higher for global warming of 1.5 degree C than at present, but lower than 2 degree C. These risks depend on the magnitude and rate of warming, geographic location, level of development and vulnerability, and on the choices and implementation of adaptation and mitigation options". The sea level will still rise, and there always be more extreme weather events and natural disasters, but these won't be as extreme as the worst case scenario we're now headed for.
So is it possible to steer the ship to a 1.5°C limit?
Four scenarios are modeled in the report that reflect different strategies governments could take to deliver "no or low overshoot" of the 1.5°C target. The bad news is that it would still require a Herculean effort.
"Twenty-40% of the global human population live in regions that, by the decade 2006-2015, had already experienced warming of more than 1.5°C above pre-industrial in at least one season".
In that scenario, some damage would be irreversible, the report found.
Rapid cutting of carbon from the economy can be achieved. Coal would have to be a relic of the past.
IPCC assessments provide governments, at all levels, with scientific information that they can use to develop climate policies.
"Scientists are increasingly aware that every half degree of warming matters", Chris Weber, WWF's global climate and energy lead scientist, said in a statement. "But doing so would require unprecedented changes".
As Rupert Darwall argues in his book Green Tyranny this was always the real goal of the global warming scare: the "science" was really just a pretext, devised by ideological Euro Greenies, to destroy the fossil fuel hegemony of countries like the US and to impose on them a new, eurocentric, renewable energy global tyranny.
In short, the report's answer for governments is that limiting warming to 1.5 °C would come with large benefits, and it is still technically possible. We can't find any historical analogies for it.
Witness this hilarious toys-out-of-the-pram display from Alan Rusbridger, formerly the editor of the Guardian, now the head of an Oxford college, as he bewails the lack of interest in the IPCC report.
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