UN gives the world 12 year ultimatum


World given 12 year ultimatum by UN


Advertisement – Advertise here from OMR 100 / $275 USD


Al-Sahawat Times | Ethical Global News from Oman and UAE | Donate HERE 


Advertisement – Advertise here from OMR 100 / $275 USD


Leading climate scientists paint dire portrait of years to come if we maintain carbon-emission status quo

 

 

Today, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a report on the forthcoming impacts of climate change.

 

 

The report warns that unless the world makes some drastic and immediate changes to combat the damage already done, hundreds of millions of people may be irreversibly imperiled by drought, flooding, extreme heat and increased poverty in the decades to come.

 

 

Three years ago, nations in the Paris agreement issued a pledge reduce greenhouse gases with the stringent goal of limiting the rise in temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels, circa the 1850s. But scientists and climate researchers alike were quick to vocalize their doubts about the practicality of this cap.

 

 

In fact, this goal felt so infeasible that a second was proposed in tandem: aiming to stall at a 2-degree-Celsius rise, which scientists at the time considered the threshold for the most severe effects of climate change.

 

 

 

Evidence in the new report, in which a team of 91 scientists from 40 countries analyzed over 6’000 scientific studies, shows that the future is bleaker than once thought.

 

 

A 2-degree-Celsius rise in temperatures would spell widespread disaster. Even if the world manages to shave off that extra 0.5 degrees, we’ll still be well on our way to flooded coastlines, intensified droughts and debilitated industries.

 

 

A seemingly small 1.5-degree-Celsius bump in temperature would also alter weather worldwide, wreaking havoc on agriculture and natural ecosystems, and cost about $54 trillion USD in damages, according to the report. Because agriculture is the leading source of income in already poor countries, it’s likely that a crippling wave of poverty would ensue.

 

 

To make matters worse, the world is already clocking in at 1-degree-Celsius warmer than preindustrial levels, which means we’re more than halfway there. At the rate we’re going, global temperatures are set to hit the mark by 2040 unless a lot changes, and fast.

 

 

“Limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius is possible within the laws of chemistry and physics,” energy policy expert Jim Skea of Imperial College London, one of the authors of the report, explains to Christopher Joyce at NPR. “But doing so would require unprecedented changes.”

 

 

Among them would be a 40 to 50 percent reduction in emissions by 2030 a mere 12 years from now and a completely carbon-neutral world by 2050.

 

 

Usage of coal as an electricity source would also have to take a significant plunge to make room for renewable energy, such as wind and solar, Davenport reports.

 

 

Climate scientists warn that these goals probably won’t be met without some serious new technological firepower designed to suck greenhouse gases back out of the air.

 

 

Considering that such techniques could save us even in the event that we overshoot the 1.5-degree-Celsius mark, this route sounds pretty appealing. There’s just one problem: We still have to invent and conventionalize some of these tools before we can actually put them into use, Joyce reports.

 

 

Currently, a few experimental methods exist that can snatch carbon dioxide directly out of the air, but at up to $1’000 per ton of carbon dioxide, the price tag of such carbon capture is staggering and billions of tons await extraction.

 

 

“The best way to remove carbon dioxide from the air,” explains MIT engineer Howard Herzog in his book Carbon Capture, is “to not release it into the air in the first place,” Joyce reports.

 

 

But the hurdles to clear aren’t just technological. As Davenport reports, the new study’s authors have already conceded that dampening the rise in temperature is probably “politically unlikely.”

 

 

President Donald Trump announced intent to withdraw from the United States from the Paris agreement in 2017; it is now the only country publically opposing the accord. A recent U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report estimated that maintaining the administration’s current course will yield a 4-degree Celsius (7-degree Fahrenheit) rise in temperature for the planet as a whole by the end of the current century. The report explicitly acknowledges the human impact on climate, but instead uses the data to justify continued non-action. In other words, the administration is arguing that our “fate is already sealed,” reports The Washington Post.

 

 

Hitting the 1.5-degree-Celsius goal won’t be easy. But saving a mere half-degree could make a huge difference in some parts of the world. For instance, it could pull corals back from the brink of complete eradication—an inevitable fate with a 2-degree-Celsius rise—and ease the severity of climate-related poverty, food shortages and water stress, Watts at The Guardian reports. And with scientists and government officials raising global alarm bells, perhaps there is hope that we can yet forestall the devastation.

 

 

“We have a monumental task in front of us, but it’s not impossible,” study co-author and climate scientist Natalie Mahowald of Cornell University tells Joyce at NPR. “This is our chance to decide what [the next 50 years] will look like.”

 

Since you’re here …

… we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading Al-Sahawat Times than ever but advertising revenues across the global media industry are falling fast. And unlike many news organisations, we haven’t put up a total paywall. We want to keep our journalism as open as we can. So you can see why we need to ask for your help. Al-Sahawat Times’ independent, investigative journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. But we do it because we believe truly ethical media and an unbias perspective really matters.

“I appreciate there not being a paywall: it is more democratic for the media to be available for all and not a commodity to be purchased by a few. I’m happy to make a contribution so others with less means still have access to information.”

If everyone who reads our reporting, who likes it, helps fund it, the future of ethical media and the futures of our staff and their families would be much more secure. For as little as £1, you can support Al-Sahawat Times and it only takes a minute. Thank you. 




Donate


This story is available on:

APPLE NEWS | GOOGLE NEWS | FLIPBOARD | AL-SAHAWAT TIMES


Talk to a journalist

Email: NewsDesk@alsahawat.com

Web: alsahawat.com

Follow Al-Sahawat Times

Visit Us On InstagramVisit Us On FacebookVisit Us On TwitterVisit Us On LinkedinVisit Us On Youtube
Read it on Apple News

🗞Read it on FLIPBOARD


M.AlSaid@alsahawat.com | Journalist

About the Author

Michael Al-Said
News correspondent for Al-Sahawat Times since 2012

Leave a Reply

avatar
1500
  Subscribe  
Notify of