Planet has only until 2030 to stem catastrophic climate change, experts warn

The Great Barrier Reef off the northeastern coast of Australia in December 2017

"It's telling us we need to reverse emissions trends and turn the world economy on a dime", Myles Allen, an Oxford University climate scientist and an author of the report, told The New York Times.

The report issued by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says global warming is likely to reach 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels as early as 2030.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison says his country won't contribute any more money to the Global Climate Fund, while the White House has yet to comment on the report.

"We are already seeing the consequences of 1 degree Celsius of global warming through more extreme weather, rising sea levels and diminishing Arctic sea ice, among other changes", said Panmao Zhai, one of the report's authors. At the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015, worldwide leaders agreed to keep global warming "well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels" with the hopes to limit this to just 1.5°C.

This, in turn, would accelerate the collapse of permafrost, releasing its ancient stores of methane, a super climate pollutant 30 times more potent in causing warming than carbon dioxide.

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.

The report stressed the half-degree difference was life changing. Even a fraction of additional warming would worsen the impact, said the report, warning that he world is off track to meet its 2015 Paris Agreement commitment to keep the average global temperatures "well below" 2°C.

It notes that to prevent that such damage would require a cessation of global-warming emissions in just a few years-and acknowledges the political unlikelihood of such a solution, especially in the United States. The planet is already experiencing the effects of global warming.

If no immediate action is taken to control global warming beyond the1.5ºC increase, sea levels across the world might rise to 10cm.

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Greenhouse pollution must be reduced by 45 per cent from 2010 levels by 2030 and 100 per cent by 2050. Coral reefs would decline by 70-90 percent with global warming of 1.5 °C, whereas virtually all ( 99 percent) would be lost with 2 °C.

The report involved all three IPCC working groups: physical sciences; impacts adaption and vulnerability; and mitigation of climate change.

The IPCC report is undeniably grim, but its authors state that the 1.5°C target can still be met if unprecedented, wide-ranging action is taken straight away.

He said the report "has sent the strongest message yet from the scientific community that the era of fossil fuels has to end soon if we are to protect the world from unsafe climate change and limit warming to 1.5°C".

"Urban systems that are moving towards transformation are coupling solar and wind with battery storage and electric vehicles in a more incremental transition, though this would still require changes in regulations, tax incentives, new standards, demonstration projects and education programs to enable markets for this system to work", the IPCC report said.

However, all methods "are at different stages of development and some are more conceptual than others, as they have not been tested at scale", the report warned.

"My focus is making sure we actually do what we said we were going to do and then we can be more ambitious", McKenna said. Although the report says that emissions would not be the sole contributor to temperatures above 1.5°C, the future rates of emission reductions will determine whether temps rise.

The IPCC report also suggests people reduce their consumption of animal products by 30 per cent.

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