Trump questions United Nations global warming report

Christopher Davidson
October 10, 2018

To have a chance of meeting the 1.5 degrees goal, climate-changing emissions would have to plunge 45 percent by 2030 compared to 2010 levels, the report said. If the world were to cease all carbon-emitting activities tomorrow, the carbon already pumped into the air would still guarantee a few extra decades of warming.

"Limiting warming to 1.5ºC is possible within the laws of chemistry and physics but doing so would require unprecedented changes."

The report is seen as the main scientific guide for government policymakers on how to implement the 2015 Paris Agreement during the Katowice Climate Change Conference in Poland in December.

The report notes that there are historic precedents for the speed we need, although not for the scale of required mitigation. The US has been resisting large cuts in Carbon dioxide emissions.

Gore, not to waste an opportunity for partisanship, critiqued President Donald Trump for his lack of attention to climate issues, even though, despite pulling out of the Paris Climate Accords (which had no enforcement clause, anyway), the United States has made significant strides in curbing carbon emissions through technological advancement. There are a lot bigger players than us out there.

The report suggests that coral reefs would decline by 70-90 percent with global warming of 1.5°C, whereas virtually all ( 99 percent) would be lost with 2ºC.

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.

A recent report, before the IPCC publication, by Oxfam and the World Resources Institute found that reducing SLCPs warranted a much greater focus than it has received in climate change efforts.

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Many people might think that they have little personal involvement with any of these - but the IPCC authors say that's not the case. With a 2°C rise, the impacts can be too serious for communities to adapt.

What's more, even a 1.5 C rise could create a "tipping point" situation that could cause further sea level rises, create shifts in monsoons in Asia and Africa, and even stop the Gulf Stream in the Atlantic. However, Washington did not obstruct the report, as some had expected.

Between 10 and 30 per cent of coral reef could be saved from obliteration, according to the IPCC report. But several studies conclude that India is vulnerable to climate change impacts. "Although the report might appear miserable at first glance, it actually shows the pathways to limit warming to 1.5 degrees and how it is achievable".

But it adds if temperatures rise by 2C, the effects will be more pronounced and more people will be put at risk of poverty and water stress, with higher health risks.

Rajeevan says India is already experiencing extreme weather events; the unprecedented rains that triggered this year's Kerala floods being an example.

The dramatic report warned that the planet is now heading to warm by 3C - and to slash that to less than 1.5C as laid out in the Paris agreement will require "rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society". Without an active participation of the United States, this will be impossible. For Trump, that figure is $1 to $7, as opposed to closer to $50 during the Obama administration.

For some, it could be the difference between "life or death", climate scientist Natalie Mahowald, a lead author on the report, told The Associated Press. These, after all, are the spaces where climate change has a tendency to disappear once the headlines move on again.

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