‘Act urgently‚’ say SA experts after UN’s dire global warming warning

UN report warns of possible climate disaster by 2040

Temperatures could rise by 1.5 degrees Celsius as soon as 2030 if global warming continues at its current pace and the world fails to take rapid and unprecedented measures to stem the increase, experts warned in a landmark United Nations report on Monday.

A new report issued by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) makes it abundantly clear that the time for talking is over and that immediate action needs to be taken to prevent a global disaster that could affect millions of lives.

"1.5 degrees is the new 2 degrees", Jennifer Morgan, executive director of Greenpeace International, told The Washington Post after attending the finalisation of the IPCC report in Incheon, the Republic of Korea.

Green Car Reports respectfully reminds its readers that the scientific validity of climate change is not a topic for debate in our comments.

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. Human activity has warmed the world by 1°C over the pre-industrial level and with another half-degree rise, many regions will have warmer extreme temperatures, raising the frequency, intensity and amount of rain or severity of drought. The lower level would mean the Arctic Ocean would be free of sea ice in summer only once per century not at least once a decade under the higher target. "Coral reefs would decline by 70-90 percent with global warming of 1.5°C, whereas virtually all ( 99 percent) would be lost with 2°C", as the IPCC related in the release.

Industrial systems: More technological innovation is needed, to help mitigate warming and to help people adapt.

No new technologies are necessary to limit warming, according to the IPCC. Among them, sea level rises would be around 48cm if the temperature was 1.5C and 56cm for 2C.

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Humans could face severe climate change consequences by 2040, warns UN report
The Institute for Energy Research found that China produced nearly one-third of the world's total carbon emissions previous year . Florida is a state that is expected to be heavily affected by rising sea levels expected with global warming.

To keep temperatures from rising to more than 1.5C in the long term, countries need to cut carbon emissions by 45% by 2030 and to net zero by 2050, with steep cuts in other greenhouse gases such as methane.

Temperatures have already risen an average 1C since the mid-1800s as industrialisation fuels the growth of carbon dioxide emissions (CO2), the main greenhouse gas blamed for climate change.

In addition, insects and plants will be almost twice as likely to lose half of their habitat if global temperatures rose by 2°C as compared to if they went up by 1.5°C. But the report warns that "the effectiveness of such techniques are unproven at large scale and some may carry significant risks for sustainable development". "The next few years are probably the most important in our history".

World leaders could reverse the damage (to the tune of trillions of dollars), but that would depend largely on whether lawmakers want to invest in the cause.

Working Group I assesses the physical science basis of climate change; Working Group II addresses impacts, adaptation and vulnerability; and Working Group III deals with the mitigation of climate change.

Concern over a United Nations report on global warming released on Monday led European Union environment ministers to meet in Luxembourg, where they talked for more than 13 hours in search for a compromise.

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