2018 IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C

A new IPCC assessment warns that urgent action is needed to limit global warming to 1.5°C, and this would “require rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society”.


Global Warming of 1.5°C, an IPCC special report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways, in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty.

“One of the key messages that comes out very strongly from this report is that we are already seeing the consequences of 1°C of global warming through more extreme weather, rising sea levels and diminishing Arctic sea ice, among other changes,” said Panmao Zhai, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group I.

The report finds that limiting global warming to 1.5°C would require “rapid and far-reaching” transitions in land, energy, industry, buildings, transport, and cities. Global net human-caused emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) would need to fall by about 45 percent from 2010 levels by 2030, reaching ‘net zero’ around 2050. This means that any remaining emissions would need to be balanced by removing CO2 from the air.

“Limiting warming to 1.5°C is possible within the laws of chemistry and physics but doing so would require unprecedented changes,” said Jim Skea, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group III.

The report highlights a number of climate change impacts that could be avoided by limiting global warming to 1.5°C compared to 2°C, or more. For instance, by 2100, global sea level rise would be 10 cm lower with global warming of 1.5°C compared with 2°C. The likelihood of an Arctic Ocean free of sea ice in summer would be once per century with global warming of 1.5°C, compared with at least once per decade with 2°C. 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.

“Every extra bit of warming matters, especially since warming of 1.5°C or higher increases the risk associated with long-lasting or irreversible changes, such as the loss of some ecosystems,” said Hans-Otto Pörtner, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group II.

Limiting global warming would also give people and ecosystems more room to adapt and remain below relevant risk thresholds, added Pörtner. The report also examines pathways available to limit warming to 1.5°C, what it would take to achieve them and what the consequences could be. “The good news is that some of the kinds of actions that would be needed to limit global warming to 1.5°C are already underway around the world, but they would need to accelerate,” said Valerie Masson-Delmotte, Co-Chair of Working Group I.

Allowing the global temperature to temporarily exceed or ‘overshoot’ 1.5°C would mean a greater reliance on techniques that remove CO2 from the air to return global temperature to below 1.5°C by 2100. The effectiveness of such techniques are unproven at large scale and some may carry significant risks for sustainable development, the report notes.

“Limiting global warming to 1.5°C compared with 2°C would reduce challenging impacts on ecosystems, human health and well-being, making it easier to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals,” said Priyardarshi Shukla, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group III.

The decisions we make today are critical in ensuring a safe and sustainable world for everyone, both now and in the future, said Debra Roberts, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group II.

“This report gives policymakers and practitioners the information they need to make decisions that tackle climate change while considering local context and people’s needs. The next few years are probably the most important in our history,” she said.

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.

The report was prepared under the scientific leadership of all three IPCC working groups. Working Group I assesses the physical science basis of climate change; Working Group II addresses impacts, adaptation and vulnerability; and Working Group III deals with the mitigation of climate change.

The Paris Agreement adopted by 195 nations at the 21st Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC in December 2015 included the aim of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change by “holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.”

As part of the decision to adopt the Paris Agreement, the IPCC was invited to produce, in 2018, a Special Report on global warming of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways. The IPCC accepted the invitation, adding that the Special Report would look at these issues in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty.

Global Warming of 1.5°C is the first in a series of Special Reports to be produced in the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Cycle. Next year the IPCC will release the Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate, and Climate Change and Land, which looks at how climate change affects land use.

The Summary for Policymakers (SPM) presents the key findings of the Special Report, based on the assessment of the available scientific, technical and socio-economic literature relevant to global warming of 1.5°C.

The Summary for Policymakers of the Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C (SR15) is available at https://www.ipcc.ch/report/sr15 or www.ipcc.ch.

Key statistics of the Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C

91 authors from 44 citizenships and 40 countries of residence
– 14 Coordinating Lead Authors (CLAs)
– 60 Lead authors (LAs)
– 17 Review Editors (REs)

133 Contributing authors (CAs)
Over 6,000 cited references
A total of 42,001 expert and government review comments
(First Order Draft 12,895; Second Order Draft 25,476; Final Government Draft: 3,630)

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46 Comments

  1. chrism56

     /  October 8, 2018

    As I posted in Media Watch
    So the world has only 10 years left to act
    They were saying that 30 years ago
    https://apnews.com/bd45c372caf118ec99964ea547880cd0
    And there was 100 months to change the world back in Al Gore’s time.
    They ought to change the record. Their previous predictions were wrong and people aren’t listening.

    Reply
    • chrism56

       /  October 8, 2018
      Reply
    • Pink David

       /  October 8, 2018

      A while back The Guardian said their were only 100 months to save the world….

      https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2008/aug/01/climatechange.carbonemissions

      It seems unfair to count how many months have passed since.

      Reply
    • The research the base this report on, which is revised from previous research and reports, is all bad if nothing is done about it.

      If they prove to be getting more accurate and nothing substantial is done there is likely to be serious threats to the planet and to civilisation, with a still growing population and increased pressure on resources even if the climate barely changes.

      If more is done to try to avert a possible crisis what is the down side? Is there any?

      Reply
      • Corky

         /  October 8, 2018

        The downside is people paying more tax for unproven science. Resources going to climate change schemes some nations can ill afford.

        I have no trouble with a global scheme to help clean the planet up. In fact that is starting to happen. However, I have zero trust in climate change scientists who seem to be paid for gloom and doom predictions.

        Reply
        • So should no science be funded unless it is ‘proven’? That would rule out just about all science.

          Reply
          • Corky

             /  October 8, 2018

            No, what these scientists need to do is stop talking about certainties, and start talking about ”possible outcomes.”

            If I had my way any scientist who spoke on climate change would need to present his credentials, track record and pay master.. My guess is predictions and big noting would drop dramatically.

            Reply
          • robertguyton

             /  October 8, 2018

            Don’t bother talking with Corky, Pete.

            Reply
          • Trevors_Elbow

             /  October 8, 2018

            Strawman Pete. Science should be funded, but basing policy on unproven or contentious research with models that have been off quite a bit since first postulated 30 years ago (a human generation ago… back before the Ipod, before the Smart Phone…..)

            No one doubts climate is changing. The fossil record shows its done it often and dramatically (in geological timescales) – the Sahara was verdant Savannah not that long ago, ditto the American South West. What drove those changes which changed the climate to arid and caused desertification? Man? Or natural cycles?

            The problem with this debate is it has been highly politicised by the left as they pursue a global wealth redistribution vision…. nothing coming from the mouths of Socialists can be believe “the ends justify the means”

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  October 8, 2018

              The movement of the plates was what turned the verdant Savannah into what is now the Sahara. Don’t read too much into climate change that far back.

            • Gezza

               /  October 8, 2018

              Actually correction – that’s not right – the changes to the Saharah have been tracked more recently – but care needs to be taken not to attribute fossil record changes to only to climate.

      • chrism56

         /  October 8, 2018

        PG
        They haven’t proved they are getting more accurate. They are making the same doom predictions they made 20 years ago, none that came to pass. They haven’t credibility.
        Remember all those cartoons about a longhaired barefoot guy in a toga wearing a sandwich board saying “The end is Nigh”. IPCC have become that cartoon.

        Reply
      • MaureenW

         /  October 8, 2018

        It’s as reliable as predicting earthquakes. Lots of science, no accurate predictions.

        Reply
        • There’s something they can accurately predict with earthquakes – they will happen. They just can’t be sure of the timing.

          Reply
          • robertguyton

             /  October 8, 2018

            Why is it, Pete, that these people are attracted to your blog???

            Reply
            • Trevors_Elbow

               /  October 8, 2018

              ‘these people’ don’t pick on yourself Robert…. its unbecoming

            • MaureenW

               /  October 8, 2018

              I hold my nose and walk on by.

            • Corky

               /  October 8, 2018

              I wear a Bio Suit..made of bamboo fibre, naturally.😄

            • No doubt a variety of reasons, but I think a key one is anyone is not only welcome to argue points whatever they are and however they may differ from mine or anyone else’s, it is encouraged.

              I think you can learn a lot more from different arguments than you can all happy clapping the same tune.

            • robertguyton

               /  October 8, 2018

              “happy clapping” – you’ve an issue with fundamental Christians, Pete?

  2. Alan Wilkinson

     /  October 8, 2018

    They are obviously worried the world isn’t warming fast enough to take 2 degrees warming seriously so are upping the fanaticism rating.

    Reply
  3. Rickmann

     /  October 8, 2018

    IPCC. Do you mean the :scientists” who were caught out falsifying data to fit their preconceptions and Al Gore, the guy who was successfully sued six times for presenting false information in his award winning movie “An Inconvenient Truth.” Gee wiz.

    Reply
  4. PartisanZ

     /  October 8, 2018

    It’s no fun when everyone just agrees on here … echo … echo … echo …

    Thanks robertguyton for keeping the topic alive … You’re comments are like chest compressions on a patient in respiratory arrest …

    Reply
    • robertguyton

       /  October 8, 2018

      Some of these guys have, “Do not resuscitate” tattooed on their chests 🙂

      Reply
    • Corky

       /  October 8, 2018

      Wakey Wakey, Parti. Robby hasn’t kept the topic alive because he’s posted nothing of substance. And you know what we call posters like that.

      Reply
  5. wooden goat

     /  October 8, 2018

    A few “inconvenient” questions –

    CO2 levels have been *massively* higher than now in the geological past and yet there was no “runaway greenhouse effect” then.
    So – what has changed? What makes “manmade CO2 emissions” more dangerous than “natural” emissions?

    This graph very nicely shows CO2 levels over geological time –
    https://www.whaleoil.co.nz/2013/08/chart-of-the-day-co2-wont-roast-us-anytime-soon/amp/

    This article is very good –
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/larrybell/2014/02/11/remember-the-acid-rain-scare-global-warming-hysteria-is-pouring-down/#4b9294c753fc

    Quote – “Although the IPCC is broadly represented to the public as the top authority on climate matters, the organization doesn’t actually carry out any original climate research at all. Instead, it simply issues assessments based upon supposedly independent surveys of published peer-reviewed research. However, some of the most influential conclusions summarized in its reports have neither been based upon truly independent research, nor properly vetted through accepted peer- review processes.

    IPCC’s representation in its 2007 report that global warming would likely melt Himalayan glaciers by 2035 prompted great alarm across southern and eastern Asia where glaciers feed major rivers. As it turned out, that prediction was traced to a speculative magazine article authored by an Indian glaciologist, Syed Hasnain, which had absolutely **no supporting science behind it**. Hasnain worked for a research company headed by the IPCC’s chairman, Rajendra Pachauri. IPCC’s report author, Marari Lai, later admitted to London’s Daily Mail, “We thought that if we can highlight it, it will impact policymakers and politicians and encourage them to take action.”
    – end quote

    And this site chips in too –
    https://www.thenewamerican.com/tech/environment/item/17324-global-warming-alarmism-melting-as-record-cold-sweeps-nation

    Quote – “Casey, whose scientific institute has arguably among the best track records on climate issues, is hardly alone in forecasting much colder temperatures going forward. In late 2013, for example, German scientists at the European Institute for Climate and Energy announced that their research pointed to naturally occurring cycles suggesting global cooling will intensify until around the year 2100. The trends, the climate researchers said, would culminate in another “Little Ice Age” with temperatures around the 1870 level.

    As The New American reported last August, increasing numbers of scientists and climate experts are speaking out about the potential for naturally fueled global cooling. Irish solar specialist Ian Elliott, among others, warned that “we may be on the path to a new little ice age,” very low solar activity, and “some very cold winters.” Danish astrophysicist Henrik Svensmark, meanwhile, warned that, due to solar activity, temperatures might not rise for another 30 years — or might even begin to decrease. Elements of the establishment media have even been picking up on the trends.”
    – end quote –

    I saw an excellent documentary on Youtube that debunked the “global warming” scare. Its core message was that “global warming” is now *big* business for thousands of hangers-on, and their continuing to sup at the taxpayer-funded trough completely depends on them making ever-more-dire predictions – almost shrieking them in the streets.
    As the old saying goes – “follow the money.”

    Bottom line – the more that the left shrieks about anything, the less that people listen.

    – w.g.

    Reply
    • PartisanZ

       /  October 8, 2018

      More climate-change-denial supporting evidence!!!

      What a drag …

      Reply
  6. Gezza

     /  October 8, 2018

    For me it’s still a case of watching the ice, the sea level, and the size, severity and frequency of storms. When the ice is consistently shrinking and the storms a continually bigger stronger and more frequent that’ll be enuf for me the planet’s heating enuf thru AGW for that to be the cause. I haven’t seen anything confirming solar cycles or orbital changes could reliably explain that alone. The problem is the debate is over such relatively tiny temperature increases and fluctuations and,sea level rises that can have other causes such as land subsiding.

    Reply
  7. david in aus

     /  October 8, 2018

    I won’t anything cogent to say about the science of Climate Change as it is beyond my circle of competence. But the political brouhaha around the topic often distracts.

    Medical associations, Councils and probably the local Kennel Club have positions against Climate Change. I say to them: stick to your own area of expertise. Politicising the topic does everybody a disservice. Self-aggrandizing people, especially celebrities or politicians with agendas, are not the spokespeople we need.

    The other counterproductive feature is the hyperbole and the near certainty of some advocates. As someone affiliated with the scientific world, we should be very uncomfortable in stating certainty using unproven models. Predictions from modelling is not a scientific fact as it is often implied but best guesses based on the known current facts as we see them. There are limitations to these forecasts.

    Reply
  1. James Shaw on global warming special report | Your NZ

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