Even scientists are shocked by the latest United Nations report on climate change

Jan Cross
October 11, 2018

Preventing an extra single degree of heat could make a life-or-death difference in the next few decades for multitudes of people and ecosystems on this fast-warming planet, an global panel of scientists reported Sunday.

She remains hopeful the world will become a greener place and save humanity from a global disaster.

The Australian government has defied a recent climate change warning issued by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which urged nations to abandon coal by 2050.

Coal-fired electricity must also end by 2050 if the world is to limit global warming increases to 1.5 degrees. Does anyone honestly believe that global bureaucrats and self-righteous politicians are going to somehow change the temperature of the planet, stop the rise of the oceans and prevent hurricanes?

Drought, flooding, extreme heat, increased poverty.

- The West Antarctic ice sheet might not kick into irreversible melting.

But allowing the trajectory to climb on its path toward 3C and beyond would mean our descendants inherit a hell of wildfires, killer heatwaves, extreme drought and storms, dead coral reefs, acidified oceans, food and water scarcity, and all of the war, starvation and instability that came with it. "We have a world where there's inequity and inequality". The report also notes that "any remaining emissions would need to be balanced by removing Carbon dioxide from the air". While the United Nations panel says technically that's possible, it saw little chance of the needed adjustments happening. It's called the 2-degree goal.

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Written and edited by 91 scientists from 40 countries who analyzed more than 6,000 scientific studies, this report was done at the request of small island nations who worry about warming changes that are short of those predicted as part of the Paris agreements. "Business as usual under Liberal and Labor is a death sentence".

Billed in the media as "life changing", the report illustrates how crossing the ever-nearer threshold of 1.5C warming will affect the planet, and how hard it will be to avoid overshooting this target. Our new analysis from the Adaptation at Scale in Semi-Arid Regions (ASSAR) project shows that for Botswana and Namibia 1.5C of global warming would lead to an average temperature rise in each country of 2.2C and 2C respectively.

The report cites more than 6,000 references and 42,000 "expert and government review comments", according to the IPCC, which is considered the worldwide authority on climate change.

"Global warming is likely to reach 1.5 degrees C between 2030 and 2052 if it continues to increase at the current rate", the report states. Politicians are fond of talking about what kind of future we will leave our grandchildren, but I can now say that having a grandchild sharpens that perspective dramatically.

"Our global climate has warmed by about a degree Celsius already, so this report looks at what our climate would look like if we were to stop that warming at one and a half degrees Celsius, so about three degrees Fahrenheit global warming", said Daniel Vimont, a professor of atmospheric and oceanic sciences at the University of Wisconsin, and the director of the Nelson Institute Center for Climatic Research. He likened the report to an academic exercise wondering what would happen if a frog had wings.

The report was published this week after it was approved by the IPCC on Saturday in Incheon, Republic of Korea. "That means taking the necessary steps to reduce emissions as we transition to clean energy sources and make cleaner, more responsible use of our existing energy resources".

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