A leaked report from the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reportedly warns that time is running out to meet the “2 degrees target” that was previously set. The two degrees Celsius target comes from a promise that nearly 200 countries made in 2010, which promises that those nations “will limit global warming to less than two degrees over pre-industrial times.” The leaked draft by the IPCC offers solutions on how to curb the ever-worsening consequences and conditions of global warming by greatly lowering greenhouse gasses around the world.
Starting on April 7 and ending on April 12, the IPCC is to meet in Berlin, as expert climate scientists and government officials will discuss global warming and climate change. The main task at hand is to edit and review a 29-page draft that estimates the cost of low-carbon and “clean” energies “between two and six percent of world output by 2050.” On April 13, the draft is to be finalized and formally released to the public.
Since 1900, temperatures across the globe have risen by around 0.8 C (1.4F). Actual temperatures across the world are closing in on the two degrees ceiling temperature that climate scientists are aiming for; this may not be a realistic goal, however. If projections hold true, then the temperature will rise above the 2C mark in the next decades. Raising the goal temperature is a possibility, which is being debated. There will be a question of whether the world can adapt to two degrees, or even three or four, above pre-industrial times. But rises of temperatures of these magnitudes could cause “irreversible damages,” as well as causing “risks to food and water supplies.” The IPCC’s leaked report about global warming ultimately warns that time is running out to meet the 2C goal, because anything over that may cause dangerous and impactful environmental changes.
The top two emitters of greenhouse gasses are China and the United States. China has some of the worst pollution in the world. This has led to consequences such as smog blocking out the sun and breathing and heart problems for some of its citizens. However, environmental legislation of the nation has recently been proposed by China, which would make big businesses, who do most of the polluting in the country, pay a compensation fee. While pollution is not as vital of a concern in the United States despite many environmental laws, the nation as a whole still releases a significant amount of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere.
Lowering overall greenhouse gas emissions could greatly help the environment with the two degrees target, but it is projected to “reduce economic output” of the world economies. Meeting the two degrees Celsius goal would cause nations to contain energy systems that are cleaner, although pricier. Coal would likely be largely discontinued as an energy source, even though it is a cheaper and plentiful alternative to the expensive capturing of carbon dioxide. According to the report, low-carbon energy sources need to greatly be increased if the target temperature is to be attained. These are “clean” energy sources such as “wind, hydro- and solar power, nuclear power” that could produce energy, as well as being much kinder to the environment than burning fossil fuels.
Global warming has become a serious problem due to steadily increasing temperatures around the world in recent times, and the IPCC’s leaked report warns the world’s powers that time is running out to meet the two degrees Celsius target. Ultimately, the report is a strict reminder that the world needs to greatly decrease its reliance on fossil fuels to avoid drastic consequences or great changes that could be the result of global warming. Time is running out in more ways than one on global warming impacting the world.
By Glen Parris