INCHEON, Republic of Korea (NEWS 1130) — We are going to see extreme heat, and many areas are going to experience droughts or extreme flooding in the coming decades.
That’s the warning from some of the world’s top scientists with the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, who believe we only have 12 years to prevent those outcomes due to climate change.
In their report released Monday, they say millions of people will be exposed to these risks of climate change unless we use the next dozen years to address the situation. But it means ensuring temperatures don’t rise more than half a degree. In the past, the critical temperature increase was 2 degrees Celsius. That is now 1.5 degrees.
“We’ve told you the scientific facts, the evidence, the costs; it is up to the governments now to decide what to do with it,” says Jim Ski, a co-chair of this panel, who calls on the globe’s governments to come together to fight climate change.
“They need to take collaborative and coordinated action, if we’re actually ging to achieve a goal of 1.5 degrees warming.”
His colleague Hoesung Lee, the head of the panel, says if we fail to stymie that increase, it could mean deadly conditions for millions of people, sea levels will rise, corals will be completely wiped out, and we could be experiencing a lot more heat waves like the one we saw this past summer.
“Climate change is already affecting people, eco systems and livelihoods all around the world,” he says.
The report was a collaboration of over 90 scientists from 40 countries, who used over 6,000 scientific references.
One key fact was that by the year 2100, global sea level rise would be as much as 10 cm lower with with an increase of 1.5°C compared to 2°C.
Another says an ice-free Arctic Ocean during summer could happen once per century with a 1.5 degree rise as opposed to at least once per decade if temperatures go up two degrees.
Also, coral reefs would decline by 70-90 per cent with global warming of 1.5 degrees, while a two-degree increase would wipe them all out.