Why farmers are forcing climate change into the spotlight

10 October, 2018, 23:02 | Author: Darnell Taylor
  • Protest An activist is arrested at the German Embassy in London yesterday in a protest against coal

"The Guardian: World "Nowhere Near On Track" To Avoid Warming Beyond 1.5C Target - "'It's extraordinarily challenging to get to the 1.5C target and we are nowhere near on track to doing that", said Drew Shindell, a Duke University climate scientist and a co-author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, which will be unveiled in South Korea next month.

To contain warming at 1.5C, man-made global net carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions would need to fall by about 45 percent by 2030 from 2010 levels and reach "net zero" by mid-century. "Climate change is already affecting people, livelihood and ecosystems all around the world".

The report lists various scenarios that might occur if the world hit 2 degrees of warming.

The report is seen as the main scientific guide for government policymakers on how to implement the 2015 Paris Agreement.

Developing nations and least developed countries have been asking developed nations, particularly the U.S., to take historical and moral responsibility for being one of the largest greenhouse gas emitters. Losing the ice would tremendously increase the Arctic's warming, which is already at least twice the global average rate. Last summer, Trump announced the United States' intention to withdraw from the Paris climate accord.

President Donald Trump says he plans to review the United Nations report that warns of global warming-caused chaos unless drastic action is taken - although he says he's skeptical of its authors. "This means that any remaining emissions would need to be balanced by removing Carbon dioxide from the air", it says. But IPCC also adds that the effectiveness of CO2-capturing technologies is still unproven on a large-scale.

"Every bit of extra warming makes a difference", said Dr Hans-Otto Pörtner of the IPCC. Emissions per capita in Australia are at their lowest level in a decade'. At 1.5°C warming, ocean acidification will be reduced (compared to 2°C warming), with better prospects for marine ecosystems.

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By largely ignoring such feedbacks, the IPCC report fails to adequately warn leaders about the cluster of six similar climate tipping points that could be crossed between today's temperature and an increase to 1.5 degrees-let alone almost another dozen tipping points between 1.5 and 2 degrees.

But those past predictions appear to have been far too conservative (a common critique of IPCC reports in general).

Cutting emissions from transport, energy and agriculture will require "unprecedented changes" to how we live our lives, the "Global Warming of 1.5C" report says. That will cause coastlines to become inundated and storms more severe, intensifying poverty in coastal regions and islands, particularly in the tropics. One is to end the use of fossil fuels.

Scientists have said the impacts of climate change, from droughts to rising seas, will be less extreme if temperature rises are curbed at 1.5C above pre-industrial levels than if they climb to 2C, the UN-backed study said. Many of us may even be feeling its effects right now with air pollution and increasing annual rainfall, but the long-term consequences are even more unsettling. "In totality, how the rest of the world handles the climate rogue behaviour of the Trump administration will decide whether the world meets the 1.5°C goal or not".

The day after an worldwide panel of scientists issued a stark warning about the short window in which world leaders can act to avoid catastrophic climate change, the president of the United States didn't comment on whether the US accepts or will act on the findings. These, after all, are the spaces where climate change has a tendency to disappear once the headlines move on again.

"We have a monumental task in front of us, but it is not impossible", Mahowald said earlier.

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