The planet is odds-on to hit 1.5C of global warming within 20 years, the world’s leading climate scientists will warn in a milestone report tomorrow. The paper, produced by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), is the starkest warning yet about the speed and scale of warming. Experts said the report would paint a “devastating” picture. The document is predicted to trigger a “turning point” in the run-up to the Cop26 climate conference in Glasgow in November. Tomorrow’s report, produced by 200 scientists from 60 countries, is the first comprehensive assessment of the physical science of climate change since 2013. An interim report, published in 2018, said global warming was likely to reach 1.5C between 2030 and 2052. According to insiders who have seen the final document, the report brings this window forward by a decade to between 2021 and 2040. The report is expected to detail the risk of “tipping points”, in which climate change becomes hard to reverse. The melting of glaciers and ice sheets, for example, may create “feedback loops” in which global warming spirals out of control. “That sensitivity means you can be too late,” Rivett-Carnac said. “A lukewarm agreement [at Glasgow] that kicks the can down the road and solves some problems, has become, in a way, as much something to be avoided as not reaching the outcome you want.”
Times 8th Aug 2021 read more »
The world is “dangerously close” to running out of time to stop a climate change catastrophe, the UK government’s climate chief Alok Sharma has said. Mr Sharma – who is leading COP26, the climate summit hosted by the UK this year – said the effects were already clear with floods, fires and heatwaves. “We can’t afford to wait two years, five years, 10 years – this is the moment,” he told the Observer. But he did not condemn the government for allowing more fossil fuel projects. And he defended his decision to travel to more than 30 countries in seven months.
BBC 8th Aug 2021 read more »
Little had prepared any of us on the Athens-bound flight for the sight of the great fire-induced clouds that swept either side of the plane as it made its descent on Friday. News of the extreme heat engulfing Greece had spread beyond its borders all week, packaged in increasingly desperate language. Temperatures were breaking records few had ever imagined. If Monday was bad, then Tuesday was worse. In some parts of the country, the mercury had hit 47C (117F), with thermal cameras on drones recording the ground temperature in downtown Athens at 55C. By Wednesday, we were hearing that entire tracts of suburban forest on the Greek capital’s northern fringes had gone up in flames. Infernos seemingly redolent of Dante’s hell had incinerated everything in their path; friends had lost homes; thousands had been evacuated with residents and tourists fleeing blighted zones by any means possible. Terraces, an Athenian’s respite against the blazing heat, had been transformed into ash-laden no-go zones.
Guardian 7th Aug 2021 read more »
Everything is ashes’: How this week’s devastating Greek wildfires could become the norm. Southern Europe is one of the areas most vulnerable to climate change, and the current cataclysmic blazes are likely to become more common.
Independent 7th Aug 2021 read more »