Terrifying climate change warning: 12 years until we’re doomed

'Unprecedented' Climate Action Needed To Save Planet, Dire Report Warns

Temperatures are now about 1° C higher than preindustrial levels.

The next major climate discussions are scheduled in December in Katowice, Poland where countries are expected to discuss rules to implement the Paris agreement.

The IPCC warns, however, there is a stark difference between 1.5 and even 2 degrees Celsius of warming. Emissions of other greenhouse gases, such as methane, also will have to drop.

It warns that the cost - £1,800billion - will be for all measures necessary to stop the world warming more than 1.5C to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. The US has been resisting large cuts in Carbon dioxide emissions.

Under the Paris Agreement rules, the United States can not actually pull out of the pact until late 2020.

An author of the recent report, who spoke on condition of anonymity, says the United States red-flagged several findings of the scientific summary for policymakers, but finally all nations endorsed it. Trillions of dollars will soon be invested in new infrastructure; if we make the wrong choices, they'll be locked in, according to the same recent report. "If the current warming rate continues, the world would reach human-induced global warming of 1.5°C around 2040".

"Every extra bit of warming matters, especially since warming of 1.5 C or higher increases the risk associated with long-lasting or irreversible changes, such as the loss of some ecosystems", said Hans-Otto Pörtner, co-chair of one of the IPCC groups, in a news release.

"But doing so would require unprecedented changes".

The report points out that the risk transition from 1.5°C to 2°C is very high and that the effects at 2°C will be more devastating than what IPCC's Fifth Assessment Report had indicated. With a 2°C rise, the impacts can be too serious for communities to adapt.

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But we now have a better idea of how bad 1.5 degrees C of warming looks, since we've already heated the world by about 1 degree Celsius over pre-industrial levels by sending greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

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.

The IPCC report is undeniably grim, but its authors state that the 1.5°C target can still be met if unprecedented, wide-ranging action is taken straight away.

The review of thousands of scientific papers also said the spread of disease and economic damage and harm to yields of crops will be less severe at 1.5C than 2C, as will the extinction of species.

Climate change is a global challenge demanding global solutions.

To limit warming to the lower temperature goal, the world needs "rapid and far-reaching" changes in energy systems, land use, city and industrial design, transportation and building use, the report said. "Indeed, they are not enough for any appropriately ambitious temperature target, given what we know about unsafe climate impacts already unfolding even at lower temperature thresholds", Rachel Cleetus, lead economist and climate policy manager for the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), wrote ahead of its release.

He adds that "the impacts of climatic change hazards (like droughts, floods, etc.) will depend on the exposure (population in coastal zones, drought- and flood-prone areas and mountain slopes)".

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. While the United Nations panel says technically that's possible, it saw little chance of the needed adjustments happening.

Scientists, including some from the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, had at the time already sounded alarms over climate change as they said it had "exacerbated" the heat wave in the country. Denying the reality of climate change is not going to help anyone. When the next climate talks happen this December, the new report is created to give governments the incentive to go much further, faster.

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