United Nations Climate Change Panel Releases Report Stating Global Temperature Rise Of 1.5 Degrees Celsius Is Maximum Before “Irreversible Changes” To Global Ecosystems; Would Require 45% Reduction In Emissions By 2030
The Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change (IPCC) of the United Nations issued a report on October 8, 2018 outlining the effects on global environments and ecosystems as global temperatures increase above pre-industrial levels. The IPCC was established in response to the Paris Climate Agreement, which seeks to “strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius.”
According to the report, “emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) would need to fall by about 45 percent from 2010 levels by 2030, reaching ‘net zero’ around 2050. This means that any remaining emissions would need to be balanced by removing CO2 from the air.”
The report highlights a number of climate change impacts that could be avoided by limiting global warming to 1.5ºC compared to 2ºC, or more. For instance, by 2100, global sea level rise would be 10 cm lower with global warming of 1.5°C compared with 2°C. The likelihood of an Arctic Ocean free of sea ice in summer would be once per century with global warming of 1.5°C, compared with at least once per decade with 2°C. Coral reefs would decline by 70-90 percent with global warming of 1.5°C, whereas virtually all (> 99 percent) would be lost with 2ºC.