India highly vulnerable to climate change impacts, say experts on United Nations report

India highly vulnerable to climate change impacts, say experts on United Nations report

It said, "Climate-related risks for natural and human systems are higher for global warming of 1.5 degree C than at present, but lower than 2 degree C. These risks depend on the magnitude and rate of warming, geographic location, level of development and vulnerability, and on the choices and implementation of adaptation and mitigation options".

"Every extra bit of warming matters, especially since warming of 1.5ºC or higher increases the risk associated with long-lasting or irreversible changes, such as the loss of some ecosystems", says Hans-Otto Pörtner, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group II, one of three working groups comprising the report, in a press statement.

Scientists with the Nobel Prize-winning IPCC said in order to have even a 50-50 chance of staying under the 1.5 degree cap, the world must become "carbon neutral" by 2050.

Limiting warming to the lower goal is "not impossible but will require unprecedented changes", United Nations panel chief Hoesung Lee said in a news conference in which scientists repeatedly declined to spell out just how feasible that goal is.

Even with the promises countries have made as part of the Paris Agreement to cut the greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming, the world is set to breach the 1.5C threshold by around 2040.

To contain warming at 1.5C, man-made global net carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions would need to fall by about 45 percent by 2030 from 2010 levels and reach "net zero" by mid-century.

The 2015 Paris Accord (which no major industrialised country is now on track to meet) set out to prevent more than 2 degrees Celsius warming from preindustrial times. That means less fossil fuels for power production, more renewables and finding ways to pull greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere.

The report makes it clear that climate change is already happening - and what comes next could be even worse, unless urgent worldwide political action is taken.

This means that any remaining emissions would need to be balanced by removing Carbon dioxide from the air.

A limit of 1.5° in global warming is feasible - but will still have far greater implications than previously thought, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), while inaction will have major consequences.

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"We need to extend this kind of progress on renewables to other areas".

The report is based on an analysis of more than 6,000 scientific papers, reviewed by climate scientists from 40 countries.

The report laid out how the changes to climate, environment and human life would be less devastating and unsafe if the global temperature rise is contained at below 1.5 degree instead of 2 degree Celsius - the existing primary goal of the Paris Agreement.

"Although the report might appear miserable at first glance, it actually shows the pathways to limit warming to 1.5 degrees and how it is achievable".

Limiting global warming to 1.5 instead of 2 degrees Celsius by 2100, as called for under the Paris climate agreement, would curtail global sea level rise, reduction of Arctic sea ice, and the decline of coral reefs, according to the report. "If action is not taken it will take the planet into an unprecedented climate future". It's intended as a guide for policymakers who are aiming to limit temperature rise to the target 1.5 degrees Celsius.

"I don't think the administration cares about this at all", said Andrew Dessler, a climate scientist at Texas A&M University.

The report calls for immediate and radical action by all global governments, saying the required actions are affordable and feasible but require ambition and dedication.

Delaying action on climate change "is something that is explicitly contradicted in the report", he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. This will require acting on all fronts to rapidly reduce emissions by 2030.

The Greens recently tabled a motion at City Hall that the council should consider preparing a climate change adaption strategy.

Phasing out the burning of coal, the most carbon-intensive form for power generation, nearly entirely by the middle of the century.

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