1.5 C climate goal 'very unlikely' but doable: draft UN report

phys.org | 1/13/2018 | Staff
TimHyuga (Posted by) Level 3
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The Paris Agreement goal of capping global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius will slip beyond reach unless nations act now to slash carbon pollution, curb energy demand, and suck CO2 from the air, according to a draft UN report.

Without such efforts, "holding warming to 1.5 C (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) by the end of the 21st century [is] extremely unlikely," said the 1,000-page report, prepared by hundreds of scientists.

Risk - Emissions - Trajectories - Pledges - Warming

"There is a very high risk that under current emissions trajectories, and current national pledges, global warming will exceed 1.5 C above preindustrial levels."

On current trends, Earth's thermometer will cross that threshold in the 2040s, said the report.

Greenhouse - Gas - Emissions - Outcome - Years

The greenhouse gas emissions guaranteeing that outcome will have been released within 10 to 15 years.

Under any scenario, there is no model that projects a 66-percent-or-better chance of holding global warming below 1.5 C, the synthesis of recent scientific studies concluded.

Degree - Celsius - Planet - Crescendo - Climate

With only a single degree Celsius of warming so far, our planet is already coping with a crescendo of climate impacts including deadly droughts, erratic rainfall, and storm surges engorged by rising seas.

The landmark, 197-nation climate treaty, inked in 2015, calls for limiting global warming to "well under" 2 C, and "pursuing efforts" for the 1.5 C cap.

Countries - Pledges

All countries made voluntary carbon-cutting pledges, running out to 2030.

At the same time, the UN's Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) was mandated to prepare a special 1.5 C report covering impacts and feasibility.

Version - Governments - October

The final version, vetted by governments, will be unveiled in October.

Pressure for the lower temperature target and the report came from nations whose fate could turn on the half-degree difference between a 1.5 C and 2 C world.

Seas - Example - Existence - Island - States

Rising seas, for example, threaten the existence of small island states and could displace tens of millions in Bangladesh, Vietnam and other counties with densely populated river deltas.

"There is...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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