Heat waves, rising sea levels, severe rain events with flooding and mass migrations due to human displacement are predicted in an updated UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report on climate change.
90 scientists contributing to the IPCC report warn that human activities have already caused 1.0C rise in temperature and are expected to continue to drive an increase in temperature to +1.5C from a pre-industrial baseline. Harmful effects will occur at +1.5C but could be drastically worse at +2.0C. Averting the worst is still possible, but rapid action is required.
Prof Mark Howden of ANU says, “Electricity will have to be supplied by renewables on a global basis by the tune of about 70 to 85 per cent of electricity supply. Coal would have to drop to within 0 and 2 per cent of existing usage, and gas down to about 8 per cent of existing usage, and only if there was carbon dioxide capture and storage associated.”
The IPCC report warns that 40 to 50% reduction in greenhouse gases is required by 2030, and zero net carbon emission is required by 2050 to avoid reaching “tipping points” that could seriously threaten human life. Species loss, species extinction and loss of the Great Barrier reef are likely without urgent, worldwide action.
Image: GoGreenerOz / CC-BY-ND 2.0
This story is taken from the 12 October 2018 edition of The Warren Centre’s Prototype newsletter. Sign up for the Prototype here.