- Half as many animals with back bones and plants would lose the majority of their habitats. Coral reefs would decline by 70-90% with global warming of 1.5ºC, whereas virtually all ( 99%) would be lost with a 2ºC increase.
Vimont said that the findings in the report mirror not only what he has been researching throughout his career, but what he is seeing locally.
He pointed out he hasn't seen anything that's going to replace coal in the near future, He also predicted coal will remain an important part of Australia's energy mix "for more than just 10 years". Any additional emissions will require removing Carbon dioxide from the air. While the United Nations panel says technically that's possible, it saw little chance of the needed adjustments happening. The Arctic, for example, is likely to be several degrees warmer, increasing the amount of ice that will melt and how high sea levels will rise. A increase of about 2 degrees, however, would be disastrous. The 1.5 was at the urging of vulnerable countries that called 2 degrees a death sentence.
The 1.5C target would slow coastal flooding and ocean rise by the end of the century, giving people in these areas time to adapt to changes.
"Let's not forget that Australia accounts for just over one per cent of global emissions, so there are a lot bigger players than us out there impacting on these arrangements", he said. He likened the report to an academic exercise wondering what would happen if a frog had wings.
However, the IPCC report's authors said the world would face severe consequences if the great bulk of fossil fuels including coal, oil and gas, weren't left in the ground. "That means taking the necessary steps to reduce emissions as we transition to clean energy sources and make cleaner, more responsible use of our existing energy resources". "This is our chance to decide what the world is going to look like".
The dramatic report warned that the planet is now heading to warm by 3C - and to slash that to less than 1.5C as laid out in the Paris agreement will require "rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society". In their conclusions, environment ministers recall the progress made in recent months by the European Union on legislation, which delivers on its commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The president insists that he is a strong leader whose messages are kept simple and will change the world. Rain-fed agriculture is already marginal across much of the country, and anticipated climate change may well make current agricultural practices unviable at 1.5℃ and above.
Victoria University of Wellington climate scientist Professor James Renwick couldn't echo that point more strongly.
The climate change is real and it is illustrated by the heat wave conditions spreading like a plague in India and Pakistan.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the "lights would go out on the east coast of Australia" if coal was phased out.
The outcome will determine whether "my grandchildren would get to see lovely coral reefs", Princeton's Oppenheimer said.
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