United Nations Climate Report Warns Miami Basically Screwed

Christopher Davidson
October 10, 2018

A newly published special report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) cautions that humanity must make rapid and unprecedented changes to all facets of society if it is to limit global warming to 1.5°C (2.7°F), and so mitigate the potentially devastating effects of global warming. "Global warming is likely to reach 1.5°C between 2030 and 2052 if it continues to increase at the current rate".

Prime Minister Scott Morrison stressed that the report did not "provide recommendations to Australia" and his Government's focus would be ensuring that electricity prices were lower for households and small businesses.

That could reduce flooding and give the people that inhabit the world's coasts, islands and river deltas time to adapt to climate change. And the idea may become increasingly relevant as world leaders prepare to meet in Poland this December, where they will finalize the Paris Agreement's rulebook-a set of guidelines for how individual nations should outline their climate action plans and report their progress. "Further failure would be an unconscionable betrayal of the planet and future generations".

This means that any remaining emissions would need to be balanced by removing Carbon dioxide from the air.

The landmark report released yesterday said that time is running out to avert climate-induced disaster. Experts say meeting that target is critical not only for the environment, but also to safeguard poor and vulnerable communities on the frontline of the climate threat.

Smaller nations have asked for equity in Carbon dioxide emission cuts to curb global warming, a time frame and funding from developed nations for climate change mitigation.

"We have done our job, we have now passed on the message", Jim Skea, a professor at Imperial College London's Centre for Environmental Policy and an IPCC co-chair, said at a press conference.

Coal power would also need to be reduced to nearly nothing.

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It's a higher budget, though, than would be expected based on the methods used in the previous IPCC assessment report-akin to resetting the doomsday clock to "five minutes to midnight", according to Oliver Geden, a climate researcher at the German Institute for global and Security Affairs. "Every bit of warming matters, especially since warming of 1.5C or higher increases the risk associated with long-lasting or irreversible changes such as the loss of some ecosystems", co-chair of the IPCC Working Group II Hans-Otto Portner said.

Sea levels, for example, would be 10cm lower in a 1.5 degree scenario than a 2 degree scenario, and there would be substantially fewer heatwaves and droughts.

In addition to the carbon tax, the federal government is moving on a number of fronts, both at home and internationally - phasing out coal-fired power; investing in public transit; requiring cleaner fuels; and financing clean technology development.

These are just a few examples taken from a depressingly long list of climate change threats that would be made significantly more risky if the temperature were to rise by 2°C or beyond by the end of the century. There was no mention of oil in this context in the summary.

Countries must take "unprecedented" action to slash carbon emissions to zero by 2050 and limit risky global warming, a key report warns.

But the report said some measures, such as planting forests, bioenergy use or capturing and storing CO2, remained unproven on a large scale and carried some risks.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, requested by governments, was issued ahead of a United Nations conference in December in Poland that will consider how to increase country ambitions to cut emissions and manage climate risks better. But Monday's report comes amid a reactionary political climate.

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.

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