Major UN Report Reveals Earth To Warm To Crucial Level Ten Years Earlier Than Expected

Global warming is happening so quickly that scientists are now saying we will cross a crucial temperature threshold as early as 2030 – up to a decade earlier than previously thought – according to a new climate science journal sponsored by the UN and published Monday.

The big picture: Atmospheric CO2 concentrations were higher in 2019 than at any time for at least 2 million years, and the past 50 years have seen the fastest temperature increases in at least 2,000 years, according to the new assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

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What they say : The report says the link between human greenhouse gas emissions and global warming is “unequivocal”.

  • It is “the strongest statement the IPCC has ever made,” Ko Barrett, vice chairman of the group and senior climate adviser to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, told reporters.

Why is this important: Warming is affecting all regions of the globe, making the world a more unstable place, and the relationship connects the dots between extreme events and long-term human causes.

  • Weather and climate events are becoming more frequent and severe, he says, and rising sea levels regularly flood coastal areas.

  • This shows that we are running out of time to meet the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement.

Details: The IPCC looked at how long it will take the world to reach a 1.5 ° C (2.7 ° F) warming temperature target above pre-industrial levels and determined that this could happen between 2030 and 2035 .

  • The 20-year period to 2040 will be the first to meet or beat that target, the panel found.

  • Even under the lowest trajectory of future greenhouse gas emissions, the 1.5 degree threshold would be exceeded for some time.

Only fast, steep and sustained reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, down to net zero and possibly negative net values, could avoid exceeding 1.5 or 2 ° C (3.6 ° F) of long-term warming, the report says . The world has already warmed by 1.1 ° C (2 ° F) from the 1850-1900 average.

  • The report also notes that many of the effects of climate change through 2050 are already blocked by emissions by now, but there is still time to significantly reduce climate impacts later this century.

Yes, but: The world is a long way from achieving emissions reductions in line with Paris Agreement targets, instead of heading for at least 3 ° C (5.4 ° F) of warming, based on latest reduction commitments shows.

Between the lines: The peer-reviewed report, produced by 234 authors from 66 countries who have reviewed more than 14,000 studies, comes at a pivotal point in the global fight against climate change.

  • The leaders of the United States and the European Union are looking to adopt tough new measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and keep the 1.5-degree target alive, with a crucial peak scheduled for November to Glasgow. But consensus on emission reductions among all the wealthiest nations remains elusive.

  • It also comes amid an outbreak of extreme weather events that have killed hundreds in the Pacific Northwest in a scorching heat wave, with devastating wildfires hitting the United States. , Canada, Russia and the Mediterranean region this summer.

  • The report addresses tipping points in the climate system, such as the closure of the Gulf Stream and the collapse of part of the Antarctic ice sheet, classifying them as low risk but high impact events.

Data: IPCC; Graphic: Will Chase / Axios

Go back: Compared to its first report in 1990, the new IPCC climate assessment reflects the transition of global warming from a distant and future problem to a current crisis.

  • The internationally agreed threshold of 1.5 degrees Celsius is dangerously close, ”UN Secretary General António Guterres said in a statement. “We must act decisively now to keep 1.5 alive.” He called for the report to “spell the end of coal and fossil fuels, before they destroy our planet”.

  • “The actions we take in the years to come will determine whether we can get on the right track,” Jane Lubchenco, senior climate officer in the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy, told Axios. “So every action counts, every year counts, every fraction of a degree counts.”

In numbers : The report predicts that global warming by the end of the century will be between about 1.3 and 5.7 ° C (2.34 to 10.26 ° F), compared to the levels of 1850-1900, depending on emissions. .

  • The “most likely” range of further warming by 2100 is 1.4 ° C to 4.4 ° C (2.5 to 7.9 ° F).

  • Regional temperature changes, however, will far exceed global averages, especially in the Arctic.

  • Sea level is expected to rise from at least one and a half to over three and a half feet by the end of the century on intermediate to high emission trajectories.

  • An elevation of 7 feet by 2100, or even 16 feet by 2150, “cannot be ruled out”, due to uncertainties over potential tipping points involving the melting of Antarctic ice.

  • The report warns of the occurrence of “compound events”, in which various extremes, such as heat waves and drought, overlap and affect society in unprecedented ways.

  • It also shows how much the current climate is already very different from the one in which modern human civilization first flourished.

What we are looking at: The report will strongly influence diplomatic efforts to secure further emission reduction commitments from major emitters in Glasgow. It is also likely to further galvanize climate activists. A 2018 IPCC report helped spark the global youth-led climate movement.

Go further: Axios Today: Scientists’ Strongest Position on Climate

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