UN Climate Panel says limiting global warming will require drastic action

Humanity has a narrow window in which it can hope to avoid the worst effects of climate change, new report suggests.

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A new report by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, calls for urgent action to limit global warming to 1.5° Celsius, Nature News reports. However, doing so will be a herculean task. The world would need to slash its carbon emissions 49 percent below 2017 levels by 2030, and reach net zero by 2050.

The report also specifies the measures that should be taken to reach these goals. For example, by 2050, 70 to 85 percent of the world’s electricity should come from renewable sources such as wind and solar power. Other suggestions pose even greater challenges. Most scenarios cited in the report say that the world would still need to remove massive amounts of carbon from the atmosphere and store it underground. But the technology to do this is still being developed.

“Every extra tonne of carbon that we dump into the atmosphere today is a tonne that will have to be scrubbed out at the end of the century,” says climate scientist Myles Allen, from the University of Oxford, and one of the report’s authors. 

By: Jeff Tollefson, Nature News

Affiliation: Nature Research


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