A global panel of top climate scientists appointed by the UN are expected to urge much faster and deeper cuts in global greenhouse gas emissions in order to keep the planet within 1.5C of warming and avoid the most dangerous impacts of climate change. A hotly anticipated report is due next Monday from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which will assess potential pathways for keeping the world within 1.5C of warming by the end of the century, as targeted in the Paris Agreement. Ahead of the report’s release, leading climate scientists and delegates from national governments are meeting in Incheon, South Korea this week to go through the 15-page summary for policymakers and agree on the final text. Leaked drafts of the report – which has been three years in the making – suggest the world is on track to break through the carbon budget for 1.5C by 2040. Urgent action will be needed to prevent this happening, the scientists are expected to say, with one of the authors of the IPCC report last week warning that the world’s governments are “nowhere near on track” to meet their commitment to avoid warming of more than 1.5C. For example, a draft of the summary seen by Bloomberg reportedly recommends steep cuts in the use of coal for power generation. Utilities should consume just a third of the of the coal currently burned globally, the scientists are expected to recommend, a reduction in coal use more than twice that of the most radical scenario previously outlined by the International Energy Agency (IEA).
Business Green 1st Oct 2018 read more »
The world is “already well on the way” to global temperature rises of 1.5C, experts have warned as countries meet to finalise a major report on the issue. Representatives of 195 governments and scientists are meeting in South Korea this week to agree a report on the impacts of a rise of 1.5C above pre-industrial levels and the action needed to limit global warming to that level. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was asked to draw up the report after countries agreed to curb warming to “well below” 2C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit rises to 1.5C. The tighter target was included in the global Paris Agreement on climate change agreed in 2015 amid fears that warming beyond 1.5C could threaten the survival of some countries, such as low-lying island states. In order to stem rising temperatures, the world will need to cut greenhouse gas emissions to zero and the report is likely to say that carbon emissions must fall to zero by 2050 to meet the 1.5C target.
Independent 1st Oct 2018 read more »
Over the past three years, climate scientists have shifted the definition of what they believe is the “safe” limit of climate change. For decades, researchers argued the global temperature rise must be kept below 2C by the end of this century to avoid the worst impacts. But scientists now argue that keeping below 1.5C is a far safer limit for the world. Everyone agrees that remaining below that target will not be easy. This week in South Korea, researchers will report on the feasibility and costs of achieving this lower limit. The scientists of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are gathering in the city of Incheon to hammer out a plan in co-operation with government delegates, on the actions that would need to be taken to meet this new goal. So why has the goal changed? In a word – politics. Leaked drafts of the IPCC Summary for Policymakers that will be published after a week of haggling with government delegates in South Korea point to some major differences in terms of the impacts on the world of 1.5 and 2C. “Two degrees is no longer the two degrees we thought it was,” said Kaisa Kosonen from Greenpeace who is monitoring the progress of the IPCC 1.5C report. “It’s increasingly becoming meaningless as a climate goal, when you look at the risks that would come with it and what we are already witnessing with one degree – why would you have a goal that doesn’t protect anything that we care about?” How hard will it be to keep below the limit? Very – the world has already warmed by around one degree and according to leaked drafts of the 1.5 report, we will sail past that limit by around 2040.
BBC 2nd Oct 2018 read more »
A stubborn pocket of snow known as “Scotland’s glacier” has melted away for the second consecutive year despite only thawing a handful of times since records began in the 1800s. The snow-patch at Garbh Choire Mor on Braeriach in the Cairngorms – which is renowned for its lack of sunlight – has never defrosted two years in a row before. Iain Cameron, who monitors snow on Scottish mountains, reported the find after climbing the peak on Saturday. He wrote: “It’s confirmed, as of today. For the first time in recorded history, Braeriach’s Garbh Choire Mor is snow-free in two consecutive years. It is no exaggeration to say that this is a seminal event in British meteorological history.” Adam Watson, an ecologist, said: “This is the first time this has happened according to our records which go back to the 1800s.”
Times 2nd Oct 2018 read more »
The National 2nd Oct 2018 read more »
The prospect of air-conditioned buildings to survive Scottish summers and city hospitals north of the Border turning away patients in heatwave emergencies may still smack of climate change scaremongering. But as Glasgow basked in record temperatures this summer and city roofs started melting, it was feared the relentless march of global warming was creating “heat island” cities, storing up unforeseen logistical problems for the future. One Scottish university has now established a Master’s degree course to look into the unintended consequences of climate change on Scottish cities and how the country deals with its impact. Professor Rohinton Emmanuel heads up the new course in urban climate and sustainability at Glasgow Caledonian University. He said global warming impacts now go way beyond polar bears stranded on melting ice caps.
Scotsman 2nd Oct 2018 read more »
Efforts to alter people’s behaviour so that they address climate change seriously must learn from the great public health campaigns of the past: on smoking, drink-driving and the spread of HIV/AIDS. Their report (sub-titled “Evidence-based hope”) reviews lessons from campaigns not only for public health but for disaster awareness and equality as well. It is the first publication of the Rapid Transition Alliance (RTA), a global initiative which aims to learn from rapid change to address urgent environmental problems. It suggests that rapid change may now be more possible than ever. The authors say recent cultural shifts in diet and single-use plastics, sexism and attitudes to gender and identity are examples of accelerating change in society and culture, aided by the speed of new communication technologies and social media in spreading ideas.
Climate News Network 1st Oct 2018 read more »