Climate Change and Global Warming : An alarming future ahead warns UN

Anger. Righteous anger.
Despair. Fruitful despair.
Hope. Faint hope.
Action. Wholesome action.

Now. Now.
Why even now? Because there’s no going back.
So drab and desperate it sounds? It is so desperate indeed.
What if it’s even now? Face the consequences. Conscience is useless.
Well. Consequences?

Begin with the 2-degree rise in temperature:

Sea rises by 10cm, million are inundated. 99% of Coral reefs are lost. Record heat temperature with a spike in natural disasters. Stark extinction rate of animal life and millions of lives lost. Arctic ice complete melt over. There few are only those predicted on our basic understanding of the complex climate system. What unforeseen happenings can happen, I leave it the reality.

2018 IPCC report : Bleak Days Ahead

The IPCC ( Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report released on October 5th has grim news to deliver. No miracle is here to happen if breakdowns aren’t made. What has the policymakers to say on this?
Policymakers commissioned the report at the Paris climate talks in 2016, but since then the gap between science and politics has widened. Donald Trump has promised to withdraw the US – the world’s biggest source of historical emissions – from the accord.

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The world is currently 1°C warmer than preindustrial levels. Following devastating hurricanes, record droughts, and forest fires, the IPCC makes clear that climate change is already happening, upgraded its risk warning from previous reports, and warned that every fraction of additional warming would worsen the impact.

Scientists who reviewed the 6,000 works referenced in the report, said the change caused by just half a degree came as a revelation.

Is 1.5°C a saving grace?

At 1.5°C the proportion of the global population exposed to water stress could be 50% lower than at 2°C, it notes. Food scarcity would be less of a problem and hundreds of millions fewer people, particularly in poor countries, would be at risk of climate-related poverty.

At 2°C extremely hot days, such as those experienced in the northern hemisphere this summer, would become more severe and common, increasing heat-related deaths and causing more forest fires.

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But the greatest difference would be to nature. Insects, which are vital for pollination of crops, and plants are almost twice as likely to lose half their habitat at 2°C compared with 1.5°C. Corals would be 99% lost at the higher of the two temperatures, but more than 10% have a chance of surviving if the lower target is reached.

Sea-level rise would affect 10 million more people by 2100 if the half-degree extra warming brought a forecast 10cm additional pressure on coastlines. The number affected would increase substantially in the following centuries due to locked-in ice melt.

Oceans are already suffering from elevated acidity and lower levels of oxygen as a result of climate change. One model shows marine fisheries would lose 3m tonnes at 2°C, twice the decline at 1.5°C.

Sea ice-free summers in the Arctic, which is warming two to three times faster than the world average, would come once every 100 years at 1.5°C, but every 10 years with half a degree more of global warming.

Solution!?

Time and carbon budgets are running out. By mid-century, a shift to the lower goal would require a supercharged roll-back of emissions sources that have built up over the past 250 years.

The IPCC maps out four pathways to achieve 1.5°C, with different combinations of land use and technological change. Reforestation is essential to all of them as are shifts to electric transport systems and greater adoption of carbon capture technology.

Carbon pollution would have to be cut by 45% by 2030 – compared with a 20% cut under the 2°C pathway – and come down to zero by 2050, compared with 2075 for 2°C. This would require carbon prices that are three to four times higher than for a 2°C target. But the costs of doing nothing would be far higher.

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Although unexpectedly good progress has been made in the adoption of renewable energy, deforestation for agriculture was turning a natural carbon sink into a source of emissions. Carbon capture and storage projects, which are essential for reducing emissions in the concrete and waste disposal industries, have also ground to a halt.

Reversing these trends is essential if the world has any chance of reaching 1.5°C without relying on the untried technology of solar radiation modification and other forms of geo-engineering, which could have negative consequences.

What should YOU DO to advance the solution?

1. Electrify everything and get more efficient

Energy efficiency is the lowest of the low-hanging fruit in fighting climate change.

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2. End purchase of automobiles that run on fossil fuels

Within a few decades, we are likely to see a worldwide transition away from vehicles that run on gas toward ones that use electricity.

3. Discourage meat and dairy consumption, encourage plant-based diets

Producing animal products, particularly beef and dairy, creates the majority of food-related greenhouse emissions, while the food supply chain overall creates 26 percent of total emissions. The most obvious way to bring these emissions down would be to engineer a massive shift in dietary patterns, reducing our meat and dairy consumption and shrinking the livestock sector.

Act now to live long.

Sources:

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/oct/08/global-warming-must-not-exceed-15c-warns-landmark-un-report

https://www.vox.com/2018/10/10/17952334/climate-change-global-warming-un-ipcc-report-solutions-carbon-tax-electric-vehicles

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