EARTH is now under dire threat from climate change as scientists warn we’re on track to miss the 1.5C limit.
This limit of 1.5C global temperature rise in modern times was set to stave off the worst impacts of climate change.
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California’s Dixie Fire is believed to have been the state’s worst in recorded history[/caption]
But a major new UN report warns that this target will be totally missed unless world leaders take urgent and drastic action.
The report warns that we could hit the 1.5C target in just 20 years.
And says that we’re even on track to eventually miss the 2C warming limit, agreed as part of the International Paris Climate Treaty.
UN Secretary General Antonio Tuerres described the report as “a code red for humanity”.
He went on: “If we combine forces now, we can avert climate catastrophe.
“But as today’s report makes clear, there’s no time for delay and no room for excuses.”
The devastating verdict by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) comes as wildfires rage across the USA, Greece and Turkey.
World leaders and businesses are now tasked with slashing greenhouse gas emissions across the board.
The temperature limits are set to avoid the very worst consequences of climate change.
Scientists have long feared a “runaway effect” where changes snowball and cause irreversible long-term damage to Earth’s climate.
Melting polar ice caps risk causing sea level rise, which could make huge chunks of populated coastline uninhabitable.
And rising temperatures could become unbearable in some of the hottest regions of the world, potentially forcing mass migrations due to climate change.
The report noted that global surface temperature is currently 1.09C higher between 2011 and 2020 than from 1850 to 1900.
And the UN now fears that we’ll hit 1.5C by around 2040 – a devastating milestone.
According to the report, human influence is “very likely” to be the main cause of glacial retreat – a certainty of 90%.
The report warned that sea levels could rise by up to two metres by the end of the century.
And that the Arctic will be nearly ice-free at least once by 2050.
The report also warned that the past five years were the hottest on record since 1850.
And that heatwaves have become more frequent and intense since the 1950s.
Scientists are now hoping that the COP26 climate summit later this year will give world leaders an opportunity to kickstart plans to stave off catastrophe.
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