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2018-10-08. Key climate panel, citing impending crisis, urges crash effort to reduce emissions.

posted Oct 13, 2018, 2:41 PM by Alan Gould
By Dennis Normile, Science Magazine. [https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/10/key-climate-panel-citing-impending-crisis-urges-crash-effort-reduce-emissions] For GSS Climate Change chapter 9. Excerpt: The United Nations’s climate panel has moved the goal posts for limiting climate change, setting the world a staggering challenge. A report released yesterday [http://www.ipcc.ch/report/sr15/] in Incheon, South Korea, by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says allowing the planet to warm by more than 1.5°C could have dire consequences, and that a speedy transformation of the world’s energy systems is needed to avoid breaching that limit, which is notably tighter than the target of 2°C cited in the Paris agreement of 2015. “Net [carbon dioxide] emissions at the global scale must reach zero by 2050,” said Valérie Masson-Delmotte, a climate scientist at France’s Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission in Paris and a key participant in drafting the report. ...There is no time for delay, the report warns, a consensus drawn from thousands of scientific studies. The world has already warmed by about 1°C since preindustrial times, two-thirds of the way toward the new target. ...Among other measures, the IPCC says, coal needs to be all but eliminated as a source of electricity, renewable power must be greatly expanded, and “negative-emissions” strategies that suck carbon dioxide (CO2) out of the atmosphere need to be adopted on a large scale, particularly if emissions reductions are delayed. Under pressure from island nations at risk from sea-level rise, the United Nations agreed during the Paris negotiations to ask the IPCC to investigate the impact of 1.5°C of global warming. ..It warns that overshooting 1.5°C will be disastrous. For example, with 1.5°C of warming, sea levels are projected to rise 26 to 77 centimeters by 2100; going to 2°C adds another 10 centimeters, which would affect an additional 10 million people living in coastal regions. ...Coral reefs are projected to decline 70% to 90% at 1.5°C, but at 2°C, 99% of reefs would be ravaged.... See also Science Magazine article New climate report actually understates threat, some researchers argue and New York Times articles Major Climate Report Describes a Strong Risk of Crisis as Early as 2040, The Climate Outlook Is Dire. So, What’s Next? and New U.N. Climate Report Says Put a High Price on Carbon.