After 3 years of work, using more than 6,000 scientific papers from over 80 countries, and coming in at over 700 pages – the IPCC has delivered its updated report on global warming.
It says “The critical limit of warming on our planet is 1.5 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial temperatures.” Not the 2 degrees that they previously thought. So the new goal is to make sure our temperature doesn’t increase 1.5 degrees over where we were in 1850.
Where are we at? We are currently at 1C and are headed towards the 3C level predictions if things dont change…
What does this mean? How does this impact us?
From the readout of the IPCC there were 4 key messages delivered on stage this month to the world.
4 Key Messages From the IPCC:
- Climate change is already affecting people’s ecosystems and livelihoods all around the world.
- Limiting warming to 1.5C is not impossible, but would require unprecedented transitions in all aspects to society.
- There are clear benefits to keeping warming to 1.5C compared to 2C, or higher. Every bit of warming matters.
- Limiting warming to 1.5C can go hand in hand with achieving other world goals such as sustainable development and well-being of all.
The main question everyone is asking is, how much does .5 degrees make? For most of us, it doesn’t seem like a big deal.
What does half a degree difference make?
The report details the difference of .5C in terms of the impact on humans, the environment, and life in general. Overall, it claims that it would significantly reduce the risk of severe and extreme weather events.
It would also half the number of people lacking freshwater, prevent many of the worlds islands from being submerged and essentially uninhabitable, and reduce the impact to the coastal regions where two-thirds of the worlds population currently lives.
Another large impact would be the prevention of the loss of the coral reefs that are found all around hte world. At the very least, prevention of global warming would be far less costly than the impact it would make if left alone.
As it stands, we are already beginning to feel the impacts of global warming around the world, but we are also starting to see a change in how we handle it.
Where do we see changes for good/bad?
Since the Paris agreement was signed in 2015 we have seen an incredible surge in renewable energies like solar and wind. Overall the cost to produce both renewable energies are now lower than the cost of coal.
With the ability to run mass-transit systems fully on electricity it is now possible to have truly greener transport options.
While not all sectors of the economy are following suit, most companies are seeing the need to be more environmentally conscious in all future endeavors.
As reported on The Guardian, “Not all sectors are seeing the same transformation yet, but the additional investment required to limit warming to 1.5C is far from overwhelming – nearly $1tn annually from now to 2050. The recent New Climate Economy report shows that those investments will not only protect us from devastating impacts, they will deliver $26tn in economic benefits by 2030 – and that is a conservative estimate. It is therefore both morally inexcusable and economically irresponsible to allow investment to continue to flow towards the further exploration of fossil fuels, rather than be intentionally directed at technologies and infrastructure that are in the solutions space.”
The most important factor in the reduction of global warming is without a doubt emissions reductions. While the main focus is definitely on vehicle reductions, the primary factor in global warming comes from coal/gas fire power plants. This is why the primary focus on renewable energies must be the focus instead of fossil fuel production.
I do not care to speak politics in this feed, but let the research of the worlds top scientists be your guiding light and know that the focus of the current US administration is truly living in the stone age…
What can the ordinary person do around the world?
There are truly easy and simple ways that each of us can help reduce waste and emissions no matter what country you live in. Just a few years ago the idea of competitive renewable energy, improvements in electrical storage (for wind/solar), and the abundance in variety of electric vehicles were something of the “future” just a couple years ago.
Science will outpace us and save us, but we also must do our simple part. Here are those common simple steps:
- Reduction of red-meat from your diet. I’m not saying just toss it out completely, but try to eat a less earth-impacting meat option like chicken and fish as your primary meat choice. As well as supplementing those with nuts, beans, fruits and vegetables more.
- Reduction of plastic/paper bags. The simple choice of using renewable canvas bags can save so much pollution heading into our landfills. This is truly one of the most simple ways to highly impact your reduced carbon footprint.
- Increased use of public transportation. You dont need to take the bus every day or the subway. Maybe in winter you drive everyday, but when summer comes go out and jump on the train to get to work. Enjoy your morning commute reading a book without having to drive yourself there.
While most of us think that governmental legislation will fix everything, it truly has to start with each person individually.
Research insights taken from the report from the IPCC located at https://ipcc.ch
Included in this article:
- IPCC Data
- Consequences global arming
- Help prevent global warming
- article global arming
- how to prevent global warming
- IPCC readout on global arming impacts