United Nations Climate Report Warns Miami Basically Screwed

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Governments around the world must take "rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society" to avoid disastrous levels of global warming, says a stark new report from the global scientific authority on climate change.

"Our understanding of 1.5°C was very limited, all but two or three of the models we had then were based on a 2°C target", said Henri Waisman, a senior researcher at the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations in Paris, and one of the report's 86 authors.

Avoiding global climate chaos will require a major transformation of society and the world economy that is "unprecedented in scale", the United Nations said Monday in a landmark report that warns time is running out to avert disaster.

Countries are already seeing an increase in extreme weather and rising sea levels as a result of the increase in average global temperatures of 1 degree above pre-industrial levels that has already occurred, the IPCC study said.

Warming of 2C above pre-industrial levels had widely been thought of as the threshold beyond which risky climate change will occur, but vulnerable countries such as low-lying island states warn rises above 1.5C will threaten their survival.

If the world did find the political and personal will to pull together and put in that kind of effort, the report shows that those actions would benefit more than just the climate. The risk to fisheries would be lower.

It is thought that by 2100, global sea rise levels would be 10cm lower that if global warming were to be at 2C.

Warming above that threshold, the scientists write, could trigger the near-total loss of the world's tropical coral reefs and the collapse of ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland that would send sea levels soaring.

Limiting global warming to 1.5°C rather than 2°C is projected to prevent the thawing of a permafrost area in the range of 1.5 to 2.5 million sq km.

A Summary for Policymakers of the 400-page tome underscores how quickly global warming has outstripped humanity's attempt to tame it, and outlines paradigm-shift options for avoiding the worst ravages of a climate-addled future.

The Paris Agreement adopted by 195 nations at the 21st Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC in December 2015 included the aim of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change by "holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 °C above pre- industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels". According to a new stark United Nations report, though, the world is running out of time and only has about 11 years until shit really starts to go down. As things now stand, the U.S. is the biggest challenge in achieving the climate goals with its advocacy of clean fossil fuels, nuclear power and carbon sequestration from sinks. Global warming of 1.5°C may force many marine species to relocate to higher altitudes and deal a blow to many ecosystems.

To contain warming at 1.5C, man-made global net carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions would need to fall by about 45 percent by 2030 from 2010 levels and reach "net zero" by mid-century.

One key issue will be negative emissions, large scale carbon-scrubbing technologies that can reduce the amount in the atmosphere and act to counter continued pollution.

Rapid cutting of carbon from the economy can be achieved. Any additional emissions would require the removal of Carbon dioxide from the air. In many cases, however, sworn support hasn't led to effective policy. Therefore, even though urgent action is a necessity, it should be equitable and the onus of addressing climate change can not fall on the developing world.

Without a radical course change, we are headed for an unliveable 3°C or 4°C hike. The world would now keenly watch if and how the European Union revises its long-term targets for its climate strategy.

The IPCC also warns that the rise in temperature could potentially expose more than 350 million more people in certain regions to deadly heat stress by 2050.

The IPCC insisted on the gravity and veracity of their findings. "We discussed, for instance, how much land would need to be diverted from agriculture to forestry (for creating carbon stocks) for capturing carbon, or growing biofuel", the person told The Hindu.

This greater awareness, and the changes it might inspire, could even be good for you.

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