Climate Action

Shocking IPCC report reveals the reality of climate change if a 1.5 degree target is not achieved

The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have published a new shocking report which outlines the likely impact of global warming and the devastating consequences if radical, immediate action is not taken by governments and the international community.

  • 08 October 2018
  • Rachel Cooper

The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have published a new shocking report which outlines the likely impact of global warming and the devastating consequences if radical, immediate action is not taken by governments and the international community.

The IPCC is the leading intergovernmental body under the auspices of the United Nations, for assessing the science related to climate change, its impacts and potential future risks and possible response options.

The report, three years in the making following COP21 in 2015, will be a key scientific input into the UN Climate Change conference in Katowice, Poland in December.

The report states that human activities are estimated to have caused approximately 1.0 degrees Celsius of global warming above pre-industrial levels.

The Paris Agreement previously set a target of keeping global average temperature rise well below 2.0 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, an agreement signed by 197 countries.

However, the report notes that global temperature rise is expected to reach 1.5 degrees Celsius by as early as 2030s if global warming continues to increase at the current rate.

Jim Skea, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group III, said: “Limiting warming to 1.5ºC is possible within the laws of chemistry and physics but doing so would require unprecedented changes.”

The IPCC report that the devastating effect of climate change, including rising sea levels and loss of biodiversity, will be significantly lower by limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to 2.0 degrees Celsius.

The report also states that if the current rate of global warming continues there will have to be a greater reliance on carbon removal technologies, these are not only unproven at large scale but would also carry significant risks for sustainable development.

The IPCC’s full report can be read here.

 

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Photograph: World Meteorological Organization