UN climate report warning: Act now, it's a life or death situation

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

Landmark UN climate report warns time quickly running out

The 48th IPCC session in South Korea's western port city of Incheon brought together about 570 representatives from 135 countries and worldwide organisations, Xinhua news agency reported.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report said limiting warming to 1.5C is possible but will require fast and far-reaching changes to power generation, industry, transport, buildings and potential shifts in lifestyle such as eating less meat.

New Delhi, Oct 8 The IPCC climate change report makes it clear that the world will witness greater sea level rise, higher frequency of droughts and floods, and heatwaves and countries like India with large populations dependent on the agricultural and fishery sectors, would be highly impacted, an environmental think-tank Monday said.

"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.

One of the lead authors, Murdoch University climate scientist Jatin Kala, said even if global warming was kept to 1.5C there could still be "dire consequences" for WA's South West, such as altered growing seasons in the Wheatbelt and wine regions such as the Swan Valley.

An increase of 1.5C will still carry climate-related risks for nature and mankind, but at a lower level than a rise of 2C, the report summary said.

Limiting warming to 1.5 degrees would also give the world a better chance of avoiding major tipping points like the collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. "What we've done is said what the world needs to do", Imperial College London's Jim Skea, cochair of the IPCC panel, said at a press conference.

Former George Tech atmospheric-sciences professor Judith A. Curry described the report's conclusions as the "same old, same old", based on questionable climate models and not "new science or better ways of assessing uncertainty". "The next few years are probably the most important in our history".

The planet is already two-thirds of the way there, with global temperatures having warmed about 1 degree Celsius.

The study was urgent because CO2, the main greenhouse gas, reached record levels in the atmosphere a year ago, and current pledges to cut emissions under the Paris Agreement would lead to warming of about 3 deg C.

A critical step is to ensure human-caused emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) will fall by about 45 percent from 2010 levels by 2030, reaching "net zero" around 2050.

This target was long considered the threshold for the most risky effects of climate change, including the mass destruction of coral reefs, widespread food shortages, destructive wildfires and coastal flooding.

Experts have said "unprecedented" should take place and said the report should urge governments to invest in clean growth and renewable energy.

Coastal nations and agricultural economies like India would be the worst affected, the report said, adding decline in crop yields, unprecedented climate extremes and increased susceptibility could push poverty by several million by 2050.

This report shows the longer we leave it to act, the more hard, the more expensive and the more unsafe it will be. Last summer, Trump announced the United States' intention to withdraw from the Paris climate accord.

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