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Tag Archive: 1.5C

  1. World has three years left to stop dangerous climate change, warn experts

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    • Former UN climate chief Christiana Figueres among signatories of letter warning that the next three years will be crucial to stopping the worst effects of global warming
    • 6 goals for 2020– increasing renewable energy to 30% of electricity use; plans from leading cities and states to decarbonise by 2050; 15% of new vehicles sold to be electric; and reforms to land use, agriculture, heavy industry and the finance sector, to encourage green growth…..

    Avoiding dangerous levels of climate change is still just about possible, but will require unprecedented effort and coordination from governments, businesses, citizens and scientists in the next three years, a group of prominent experts has warned.

    Warnings over global warming have picked up pace in recent months, even as the political environment has grown chilly with Donald Trump’s formal announcement of the US’s withdrawal from the Paris agreement. This year’s weather has beaten high temperature records in some regions, and 2014, 2015 and 2016 were the hottest years on record.

    But while temperatures have risen, global carbon dioxide emissions have stayed broadly flat for the past three years. This gives hope that the worst effects of climate change – devastating droughts, floods, heatwaves and irreversible sea level rises – may be avoided, according to a letter published in the journal Nature this week.

    …..They calculate that if emissions can be brought permanently lower by 2020 then the temperature thresholds leading to runaway irreversible climate change will not be breached….They set out six goals for 2020 which they said could be adopted at the G20 meeting in Hamburg on 7-8 July.

    Six milestones

    To prioritize actions, we’ve identified milestones in six sectors….These goals may be idealistic at best, unrealistic at worst. However, we are in the age of exponential transformation and think that such a focus will unleash ingenuity. By 2020, here’s where the world needs to be:

    Energy. Renewables make up at least 30% of the world’s electricity supply — up from 23.7% in 2015 (ref. 8). No coal-fired power plants are approved beyond 2020, and all existing ones are being retired.

    Infrastructure. Cities and states have initiated action plans to fully decarbonize buildings and infrastructures by 2050, with funding of $300 billion annually. Cities are upgrading at least 3% of their building stock to zero- or near-zero emissions structures each year9.

    Transport. Electric vehicles make up at least 15% of new car sales globally, a major increase from the almost 1% market share that battery-powered and plug-in hybrid vehicles now claim. Also required are commitments for a doubling of mass-transit utilization in cities, a 20% increase in fuel efficiencies for heavy-duty vehicles and a 20% decrease in greenhouse-gas emissions from aviation per kilometre travelled.

    Land. Land-use policies are enacted that reduce forest destruction and shift to reforestation and afforestation efforts. Current net emissions from deforestation and land-use changes form about 12% of the global total. If these can be cut to zero next decade, and afforestation and reforestation can instead be used to create a carbon sink by 2030, it will help to push total net global emissions to zero, while supporting water supplies and other benefits. Sustainable agricultural practices can reduce emissions and increase CO2 sequestration in healthy, well-managed soils.

    Industry. Heavy industry is developing and publishing plans for increasing efficiencies and cutting emissions, with a goal of halving emissions well before 2050. Carbon-intensive industries — such as iron and steel, cement, chemicals, and oil and gas — currently emit more than one-fifth of the world’s CO2, excluding their electricity and heat demands.

    Finance. The financial sector has rethought how it deploys capital and is mobilizing at least $1 trillion a year for climate action. Most will come from the private sector. Governments, private banks and lenders such as the World Bank need to issue many more ‘green bonds’ to finance climate-mitigation efforts. This would create an annual market that, by 2020, processes more than 10 times the $81 billion of bonds issued in 2016.

    ….While the greenhouse gases poured into the atmosphere over the last two centuries have only gradually taken effect, future changes are likely to be faster, scientists fear.

    Christiana Figueres, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Gail Whiteman, Johan Rockström, Anthony Hobley & Stefan Rahmstorf. Three years to safeguard our climateNature 546, 593–595 () doi:10.1038/546593a

  2. Paris 1.5°C target may be smashed by 2026

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    Posted: 08 May 2017 03:49 PM PDT  full ScienceDaily article here

    What appears to be a recent change to a positive phase of the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation is likely to accelerate global warming, breaking through the agreed Paris target of 1.5°C by as early as 2026.

    Since 1999, the IPO has been in a negative phase but consecutive record-breaking warm years in 2014, 2015 and 2016 have led climate researchers to suggest this may have changed. In the past, these positive phases have coincided with accelerated global warming.

    “Even if the IPO remains in a negative phase, our research shows we will still likely see global temperatures break through the 1.5°C guardrail by 2031,” said lead author Dr Ben Henley. “If the world is to have any hope of meeting the Paris target, governments will need to pursue policies that not only reduce emissions but remove carbon from the atmosphere.”

    “Should we overshoot the 1.5°C limit, we must still aim to bring global temperatures back down and stabilise them at that level or lower.”..In the past, we have seen positive IPOs from 1925-1946 and again from 1977-1998. These were both periods that saw rapid increases in global average temperatures. The world experienced the reverse — a prolonged negative phase — from 1947-1976, when global temperatures stalled….

    Dr Henley said…”Policy makers should be aware of just how quickly we are approaching 1.5°C. The task of reducing emissions is very urgent indeed.”

    Benjamin J. Henley, Andrew D. King. Trajectories toward the 1.5°C Paris target: Modulation by the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation. Geophysical Research Letters, 2017; DOI: 10.1002/2017GL073480

  3. Arctic sea ice may vanish even if world achieves climate goal – study

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    Ice-free Arctic with 1.5 C?

    March 6, 2017 Reuters  Full article here

    Arctic sea ice may vanish in summers this century even if governments achieve a core target for limiting global warming set by almost 200 nations in 2015, scientists said on Monday. …Under the 2015 Paris Agreement, governments set a goal of limiting the rise in average world temperatures to well below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial times, with an aspiration of just 1.5C (2.7F).

    The 2 degrees Celsius target may be insufficient to prevent an ice-free Arctic,” James Screen and Daniel Williamson of Exeter University in Britain wrote in the journal Nature Climate Change after a statistical review of ice projections.

    A 2C rise would still mean a 39 percent risk that ice will disappear in the Arctic Ocean in summers, they said. Ice was virtually certain to survive, however, with just 1.5C of warming.And they said they estimated a 73 percent probability that the ice would disappear in summer unless governments make deeper cuts in emissions than their existing plans. They estimated temperatures will rise 3C (5.4F) on current trends….

    James A. Screen & Daniel Williamson  Ice-free Arctic at 1.5 °C? Nature Climate Change (2017) doi:10.1038/nclimate3248  Published online 06 March 2017

  4. 10 Most Important Climate Stories of 2016

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    By Brian Kahn Climate Central December 28th, 2016  see full article here

    This year is likely to remembered as a turning point for climate change…Here are the 10 most important climate milestones of the year:

    1. It was the hottest year on record. Again…
    2. The Paris Agreement got real…
    3. Carbon dioxide hit 400 ppm. Permanently…
    4. The world breached the 1.5°C climate threshold…
    5. The Great Barrier Reef was decimated by warm waters…
    6. Divestment and clean energy investments each hit a record…
    7. Arctic sea ice got weird. Really weird..
    8. July was the hottest month ever recorded. Then August tied it…
    9. An extremely potent greenhouse gas is also on its way out (hydrofluorocarbons)…
    10. The world struck an airline carbon pollution deal…
  5. Heat Is On for 2017, Just Not Record-Setting

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  6. IPCC special report to scrutinise ‘feasibility’ of 1.5C climate goal

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    https://www.carbonbrief.org/ipcc-special-report-feasibility-1point5

    August 16 2016 Carbon Brief

    The head of the United Nation’s climate body has called for a thorough assessment of the feasibility of the international goal to limit warming to 1.5C.

    Dr Hoesung Lee, chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), told delegates at a meeting in Geneva, which is designed to flesh out the contents of a special report on 1.5C, that they bore a “great responsibility” in making sure it meets the expectations of the international climate community.

    To be policy-relevant, the report will need to spell out what’s to be gained by limiting warming to 1.5C, as well as the practical steps needed to get there within sustainability and poverty eradication goals.

    More than ever, urged Lee, the report must be easily understandable for a non-scientific audience. The IPCC has come under fire in the past over what some have called its “increasingly unreadable” reports….