October 28, 2020

Limiting global warming to 1.5ºC requires "unprecedented changes"

Limiting global warming to 1.5ºC requires "unprecedented changes"



Limiting the rise in temperatures to 1.5 degrees Celsius would require "unprecedented changes" at a social and global level, warns the new report presented today by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, for its acronym in English).

The text says that limiting the "global warming to 1.5 ºC", a barrier that is believed to be overcome between 2030 and 2052 at this rate, "would require rapid changes, wide-ranging and unprecedented in all aspects of society" , from energy consumption to urban and land planning and many more emission cuts.

The report, presented in Incheon (South Korea), examines ways to limit the warming to 1.5 instead of 2 degrees, as established in the Paris Climate Agreement, and warns that the effects for ecosystems and life on the planet will be much less catastrophic if this more ambitious barrier is maintained.

The emissions of polluting gases of human origin have already raised the average temperature of the planet around 1 degree compared to before the industrial revolution in the nineteenth century and transforming life on the planet, according to the president of the IPCC, Hoesung Lee. , in the presentation of the report.

"Keeping global warming at a level below 1.5 degrees instead of 2 will be very difficult, but not impossible," Lee added.

Limiting the warming below the limit of 1.5 degrees would prevent further extinction of species and, for example, the total destruction of the coral, basic to the marine ecosystem, or reduce the rise of the sea by 10 centimeters by 2100, saving coastal areas and littorals, according to the report.

Exceeding the 1.5 degree limit would lead to a greater increase in extreme heat, torrential rains and the likelihood of droughts, something that will have a direct effect on food production, especially in sensitive areas such as the Mediterranean or Latin America.

It will also affect health, water supplies and economic growth, with an especially negative impact on the poorest and most vulnerable populations of the planet, says the text, which has 6,000 scientific references and is signed by 91 experts from 40 countries.

To avoid overcoming this barrier, says the report, more efficient energy consumption is needed, more sustainable and less extensive agriculture, or more land for the cultivation of energy resources.

Also multiply by five the current investment in the technological field to ensure that transport, buildings or industry emit much less and in turn improve the capture of pollutant gases.

The report, aimed at countries of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, will be used as a basis for the discussions of the twenty-fourth climate summit (COP24) to be held in Katowice (Poland) this December.

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