Why you should care about half a degree of global warming

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is warning the world has just a decade to limit future temperature rise to 1.5 degrees and avoid calamitous impacts of climate change

"If action is not taken it will take the planet into an unprecedented climate future".

Prepared by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change‚ the report says that "urgent and unprecedented" changes are needed to reach the target.

The day after an worldwide panel of scientists issued a stark warning about the short window in which world leaders can act to avoid catastrophic climate change, the president of the United States didn't comment on whether the USA accepts or will act on the findings. "These options are technically proven at various scales, but their large-scale deployment may be limited by economic, financial, human capacity and institutional constraints", the report said.

This target was long considered the threshold for the most risky effects of climate change, including the mass destruction of coral reefs, widespread food shortages, destructive wildfires and coastal flooding.

Ah, science. Like the science behind the IPCC report's stingy bias against nuclear power?

'It was given to me and I want to look at who drew it, which group drew it, ' Trump told reporters at the White House on Tuesday, as he left for an Iowa campaign rally.

"The new report from the IPCC has served as a final warning that we must get our act together - now and quickly", said Sunita Narain, director general of the Centre for Science Environment (CSE) while asking the global communities to build a coalition to support the massive transformation required to achieve the 1.5-degree target.

If global emissions continue at the current rate, the 91 authors of the report predict the world will reach 1.5 degrees by as early as 2040. Coral reefs, which risk decline by more than 99% at 2C, would reduce by 70 to 90%.

Areas like sub-Saharan Africa and the Mediterranean would still suffer from droughts, but farms would be able to grow more food than they could with 2 degrees of warming. The Arctic, which would be ice-free about once per century at 1.5 degrees of temperature rise, would be ice-free once per decade at 2 degrees.

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IPCC's special report titled "Global Warming of 1.5 Degrees" finds that nations will require "rapid and far-reaching" transitions in all sectors, particularly energy, land use, industry, transport, buildings and other infrastructure to fight climate change.

It seems that what was once our worst case scenario may now be one of our best. "Each year that the global economy fails to decarbonize at the required rate, the two-degree goal becomes more hard to achieve".

The IPCC warns, however, there is a stark difference between 1.5 and even 2 degrees Celsius of warming.

The date, which falls well within the lifetime of many people alive today, is based on current levels of greenhouse gas emissions. To do that, we'd have to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 45% by 2030 compared to what they were in 2010.

At the same time, the world must all but completely phase out coal, while boosting renewable energy by almost 50 percent. "In totality, how the rest of the world handles the climate rogue behaviour of the Trump administration will decide whether the world meets the 1.5°C goal or not".

Greens climate spokesman Adam Bandt said the report showed it was "time to hit the climate emergency button", and neither major party was prepared to take the necessary steps. Though the United States, which moved to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, too accepted the report, it has not endorsed it. In the aggregate they are larger if global warming exceeds 1.5 degrees C. Some impacts may be long-lasting or irreversible, such as the loss of some ecosystems. Fewer ecosystems would be irreversibly lost.

"Frankly, we've delivered a message to the governments", Skea said at a press event, according to The Washington Post.

This is the scariest thing about the IPCC Report - it's the watered down, consensus version.

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