Climate change report urges immediate action

The proportion of people around the world exposed to water stress could be cut in half.

- Half as many animals with back bones and plants would lose the majority of their habitats.

A new United Nations report says the targets set by the Paris climate accord aren't enough to stop massive ecosystem change in the next 50 years.

"We have to live our lives in a way that makes a difference".

The report is full of the by now well-known predictions of the ecological damage and economic costs of global climate change, and the results of scientific models evaluating the progress that can be achieved if, and when, certain actions are taken.

And, of course, Trump has been trying to slash carbon regulations instead of strengthening them.

The report's release is expected to energize the annual United Nations. And if we don't keep warming under 2 degrees?

It warns a further increase to two degrees Celsius would greatly increase the number of natural disasters. The Paris agreement committed to limit warming to well below 2 degrees, and pursue the even harder goal to limit it to 1.5 degrees. In the last few years, some experts have suggested that overshooting the 1.5 C threshold is likely inevitable. While nascent and not conclusive in its findings-two of the reasons you won't find it referenced in the IPCC report-the study warned that humanity may be just 1°C away from creating a series of dynamic feedback loops that could push the world into a climate scenario not seen since the dawn of the Helocene Period, almost 12,000 years ago.

The report, which encompasses more than 6,000 scientific references, has found that some of the most severe climate change scenarios could be felt at an even lower temperatures of global warming, occurring decades earlier than expected. In the aggregate they are larger if global warming exceeds 1.5 degrees C. Some impacts may be long-lasting or irreversible, such as the loss of some ecosystems.

"And I want to look at who drew it", he continued. He likened the report to an academic exercise wondering what would happen if a frog had wings.

Yet report authors said they remain optimistic.

Working Group I assessed the physical science basis of climate change; Working Group II addressed impacts, adaptation and vulnerability; and Working Group III dealt with the mitigation of climate change. The changes required, from energy to agriculture, are "unprecedented in terms of scale", the group writes in a summary for policymakers.

The report finds that limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius would require "rapid and far-reaching" transitions in land, energy, industry, buildings, transport, and cities. The decision to eat less meat, particularly beef, and dairy products has been identified by researchers as making a bigger impact on lowering greenhouse gas emissions than reducing flights or buying an electric vehicle. One is to end the use of fossil fuels.

Still, Cleetus says that we have most of the technology we need to make the change.

Princeton University climate scientist Michael Oppenheimer said extreme weather, especially heat waves, will be deadlier if the lower goal is passed. And the report says, it would become impossible to produce enough food to feed the world's growing population.

The IPCC report also advises a shift to less energy-intensive household goods such as smart thermostats and air conditioners. Coral reefs would have a chance to survive.

For scientists there is a bit of "wishful thinking" that the report will spur governments and people to act quickly and strongly, one of the panel's leaders, German biologist Hans-Otto Portner, said. "India has already taken several actions in the direction", the ministry of earth sciences secretary M Rajeevan told TOI.