United Nations Climate Report Warns Miami Basically Screwed

Planet has only until 2030 to stem catastrophic climate change, experts warn

"This points out that every fraction of a degree really does matter". It also lays out courses of action that could be taken to keep the rise in check.

"Scientists might want to write in capital letters, 'ACT NOW IDIOTS, ' but they need to say that with facts and numbers, and they have", said Greenpeace climate activist Kaisa Kosonen, who was an observer at recent IPCC meetings.

When the target was put into the Paris Agreement, relatively little was known about the climate risks that would be avoided in a 1.5C warmer world compared with a 2C warmer world, or about the action needed to limit temperature rises to that level.

The 2015 Paris Accord (which no major industrialised country is now on track to meet) set out to prevent more than 2 degrees Celsius warming from preindustrial times.

Climate change is a global challenge demanding global solutions.

But those past predictions appear to have been far too conservative (a common critique of IPCC reports in general).

By the end of the century, if warming stops at 1.5 degrees, the sea level rise may be almost four inches lower than if it stops at 2 degrees.

No new technologies are necessary to limit warming, according to the IPCC.

If emissions can't be cut to a sufficient degree, researchers will need to devise effective methods of removing Carbon dioxide from the air, such as devoting land to growing trees and biofuel crops, Erik Solheim, executive director of the UN Environment Program, tells The Washington Post. But at 2 degrees, that number jumps to more than 99 percent. 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. At 2 degrees, that will be more like once per decade.

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In the 728-page document, the United Nations organization detailed how Earth's weather, health and ecosystems would be in better shape if the world's leaders could somehow limit future human-caused warming to just 0.9 degrees Fahrenheit (a half degree Celsius) from now, instead of the globally agreed-upon goal of 1.8 degrees F (1 degree C).

It seems that what was once our worst case scenario may now be one of our best. Avoiding going even higher will require significant action in the next few years.

"The overarching context of this report is this: human influence has become a principal agent of change on the planet", adding that "the spread of fossil-fuel-based material consumption and changing lifestyles is a major driver of global resource use, and the main contributor to rising greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions". By midcentury, we have to reach net zero emissions.

He says clean energy power from the sun, water, wind, and other renewable resources are available to meet humanity's needs. It says that risk warnings in earlier reports underestimated damage already done as well as how quickly we are moving towards disaster.

More than ninety-one authors and review editors from 40 countries contributed to the findings which were launched in Incheon in South Korea on October 8 in front of all 195 signed on parties of the Paris Agreement.

The Kigali Amendment, by avoiding the equivalent of up to 90 billion tonnes of Carbon dioxide by 2050, could be "perhaps the single most significant contribution to keeping warming well below 2C, aiming for the still safer 1.5 C", Zaelke told the Guardian.

Former Vice President Al Gore Jr. warned that "time is running out" after the release of a United Nations special report Sunday giving the world 12 years to head off climate calamity by radically transforming "all aspects of society". "It's really disappointing. It's a real failure that the U.S. government isn't helping people understand there's a train coming down the track fast at us and we need to get out of the way".

Read the full IPCC report, Wired, and Forbes articles.

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