Urgent, collective actions required limiting global warming: UN body
Urgent, collective actions required limiting global warming: UN body

Limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius would require rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society, the IPCC said in a new assessment made public on Monday. With clear benefits to people and natural ecosystems, limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees compared to two degrees could go hand in hand with ensuring a more sustainable and equitable society, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said.

The Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius was approved by the IPCC -- the UN body for assessing the science related to climate change -- on Saturday in this Korean city. It will be a key scientific input into the Katowice Climate Change Conference (COP24) in Poland in December, when 195 nations review the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement to tackle climate change. "With more than 6,000 scientific references cited and the dedicated contribution of thousands of expert and government reviewers worldwide, this important report testifies to the breadth and policy relevance of the IPCC," panel chair Hoesung Lee said.

Ninety-one authors and review editors from 40 countries prepared the IPCC report in response to an invitation from the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) when it adopted the Paris Agreement in 2015. "One of the key messages that comes out very strongly from this report is that we are already seeing the consequences of one degrees Celsius of global warming through more extreme weather, rising sea levels and diminishing Arctic sea ice, among other changes," said IPCC Working Group I Co-Chair Panmao Zhai.

The report highlights a number of climate change impacts that could be avoided by limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to two degrees, or more. For instance, by 2100, global sea level rise would be 10 cm lower with global warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius compared with two degrees.

The likelihood of an Arctic Ocean free of sea ice in summer would be once per century with global warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared with at least once per decade with two degrees Celsius. This means that any remaining emissions would need to be balanced by removing CO2 from the air. The IPCC is the leading world body for assessing the science related to climate change, its impacts and potential future risks, and possible response options.


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