Al Gore warns 'time is running out' after U.N

"Twenty-40% of the global human population live in regions that, by the decade 2006-2015, had already experienced warming of more than 1.5°C above pre-industrial in at least one season".

A landmark study released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) today reveals that India, one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to global warming, will face the brunt of climate change devastation in the coming years. Next year the IPCC will release the Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate, and Climate Change and Land, which looks at how climate change affects land use.

Limiting the increase to 1.5 degrees would also have a dramatic impact on economic growth and development in poorer countries, which could reduce the number of people both exposed to climate-related risks and susceptible to poverty by several hundred million by 2050, it said.

Limiting global warming to 1.5 °C would require rapid, far- reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society, the IPCC said in a new assessment.

Around 6 percent of insects, 8 percent of plants, and 4 percent of vertebrates are projected to be negatively affected by global warming of 1.5°C, namely by shrinking their natural geographic range, compared with 18 percent of insects, 16 percent of plants and 8 percent of vertebrates for global warming of 2°C. Paris was itself based on the former 2 degree Celsius threshold. Coral reefs would decline by a still unsustainable 70 percent to 90 percent instead of being virtually wiped out under the higher increase.

The much-anticipated "1.5 Health Report" was released on Monday in South Korea by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a United Nations body set up in 1988, and written by 91 authors from 40 different countries.

Allowing the global temperature to temporarily exceed or "overshoot" 1.5ºC would mean a greater reliance on techniques that remove Carbon dioxide from the air to return global temperature to below 1.5°C by 2100.

While much has been said about the need to limit global warming temperatures - what exactly is the difference between 2C and 1.5C and how does it impact the world? It also objected to references to the emissions being reduced in keeping with the principle of equity and fairness.

This is the crux of the United Nations climate change science panel report that all the countries accepted on Saturday after a contentious and strenuous meeting between scientists and diplomats in Korea.

In 2015, when the nations of the world agreed to the historic Paris climate agreement, they set dual goals: 2 degrees C and a more demanding target of 1.5 degrees C from pre-industrial times.

"Any credible pathway to meeting the 1.5 degree scenario must focus on emissions rather than fuel", Katie Warrick, interim chief executive officer of the WCA, said after reviewing a draft of the report.

Time is running out: the IPCC report is unequivocal that the world - including Australia - needs to take unprecedented action, and it needs to do it soon.

But those past predictions appear to have been far too conservative (a common critique of IPCC reports in general). The National Oceanographic Centre in Southampton calculated that sea level rise caused by temperatures exceeding 1.5C would cost £10.7trillion a year by 2100. More than 1,000 scientists reviewed the findings. Among them, sea level rises would be around 48cm if the temperature was 1.5C and 56cm for 2C. This would require all countries to enhance their existing emission reduction targets under the agreement for the period starting 2020. When the next climate talks happen this December, the new report is created to give governments the incentive to go much further, faster.

Using carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology, the share of gas-fired power would need to be cut to eight percent and coal to between zero and two percent. 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.

  • Joey Payne