A major United Nations report warns that humanity does not have enough time to contain global warming, which will lead the planet to catastrophic floods, heat waves and famine.
A study by hundreds of eminent scientists says the world is “approaching the point of no return” but may still avert catastrophe.
Deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions must begin globally, according to the report, or global warming will end previous efforts to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit).
The report warns that each small warming will “amplify” the danger to the planet.
The devastating impacts will include melting ice caps leading to rising sea levels, the disappearance of coral reefs and glaciers, and massive economic damage to agriculture, forestry, fisheries, energy and tourism.
The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Consolidated Report was approved after a week-long discussion in Interlaken, Switzerland.
The report warns that the Earth is currently on track for global warming of about 2.7 degrees Celsius (4.8 degrees Fahrenheit) between 2081 and 2100, assuming “average” levels of greenhouse gas emissions, but it may be as low as 1.4 degrees Celsius (2.5 degrees Fahrenheit). Fahrenheit) as emissions become “very low” but up to 4.4 C (7.9 F) if they rise to “very high”.
But he says the damage can be halted through “deep, rapid and sustained reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, leading to a significant slowdown in global warming within two decades.”
To do this, by 2030 the world will need to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from 1990 levels by 48%; by 65% by 2035; 80% by 2040 and 99% by 2050.
Indeed, the report calls for the world to move as close as possible to “net zero” emissions in just 17 years.
Almost eight years ago in Paris, governments agreed to try to limit the rise in temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit), or at least keep it well below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit).
Since then, scientists have increasingly argued that any increase in temperature above the minimum would put humanity at serious risk.
Average global temperatures have already risen by 1.1 °C (2 °F) since the 19th century.
Met Office climatologist Dr Chris Jones, one of the report’s authors, said: “Today’s report reveals the sheer scale of ambition required to avert the worst impacts of climate change. We know that climate change is already happening and the world has already seen it. extreme events associated with the relatively modest warming we have observed.” future generations. Without immediate and equitable mitigation and adaptation, climate change increasingly threatens societies and human well-being. “But the report also shows a range of cost-effective mitigation and adaptation options currently available. Resuming efforts to invest in sustainable development gives us the best chance for a climate resilient future.”
One of the optimistic remarks in the report is that the health benefits of reducing the use of fossil fuels to prevent global warming will bring more economic returns than the costs of reducing emissions.
Commenting on the report, Professor Bill Collins, Professor of Climate Processes at the University of Reading, said: “This latest report shows an exciting opportunity for a sustainable future. , will bring significant air quality benefits (such as ‘ground-level ozone’. Benefits are taken into account.”
The report claims that the way to reduce carbon emissions is to increase the use of solar and wind energy, encourage “active travel”, walk and bike, plant trees and save 30-50% of the planet for nature.
Another key takeaway from the report is that carbon capture and storage — capturing carbon dioxide from the air and storing it underground — will be vital in efforts to limit global warming.
The new synthesis will play a decisive role when governments meet in Dubai this December for UN climate talks.
The meeting will be the first to take stock of global efforts to reduce emissions since the Paris Agreement, and to hear calls from poor countries for more aid.
Source: Daily Mail