A chart that's part of a new report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change shows a range of global warming pos

Scientists said "rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society" are required to limit the possibility of irreversible environmental damage.

According to an alarming report recently released by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), we only have around a dozen years left to limit global warming to 1.5°C (2.7°F) if we wish to avoid a significantly heightened risk of extreme heat, droughts, floods and poverty affecting hundreds of millions of people around the world.

"It's a line in the sand and what it says to our species is that this is the moment and we must act now", Debra Roberts, cochair of a working group on the impacts of climate change, tells The Guardian.

UQ Global Change Institute Director Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, a coordinating lead author of the IPCC report said current analysis revealed we could still meet a 1.5°C target.

At the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015, worldwide leaders agreed to keep global warming "well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels" with the hopes to limit this to just 1.5°C. One was, what would be the impacts of global warming of 1 1/2 degrees compared with global warming of 2 degrees?

The report, that took 3 years to create and included 91 authors from 40 countries, says the planet will reach the crucial threshold of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels as early as 2040.


"A key finding of the report is that 1.5°C is not a safe level of global warming; however it is much safer than 2.0 °C", Professor Hoegh-Guldberg said. Carbon dioxide is a tiny percentage of the air; Herzog likens the technique to removing 400 "CO2 marbles" from a pile of one million marbles.

Lowering emissions to this degree, while technically possible, would require widespread changes in energy, industry, buildings, transportation and cities, according to the report.

Scientists are describing a new climate report as a clarion bell for scientists across the globe, but what should we be most anxious about?

A landmark United Nations report paints a dire picture of the catastrophic consequences the world will face if immediate action is not taken to limit the global warming to 1.5°C, warning that at 2°C, the world could see 10 cm more global sea level rise, loss of all coral-reefs and worsening food shortages.

Methods to take excess carbon out of the atmosphere will also be needed.

As part of the decision to adopt the Paris Agreement, the IPCC was invited to produce, in 2018, a Special Report on global warming of 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways.


Scientists with the Nobel Prize-winning IPCC said in order to have even a 50-50 chance of staying under the 1.5 degree cap, the world must become "carbon neutral" by 2050.

It will also require a vast ramp-up in renewables so they generate 70-85 per cent of electricity supplies by 2050, while use of coal needs to fall from around 38 per cent to "close to 0 per cent" by 2050.

But no matter how many warnings we receive - and let's be honest, at this point we have had far too many - no one is willing to put their foot down and pump the brakes.

McKibben believes the odds of governments taking action in the wake of this report are slim.

This report shows the longer we leave it to act, the more hard, the more expensive and the more unsafe it will be.


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