United Nations report warns of possible climate disaster by 2040

Climate change: Unprecedented action is required to curb temperature rise, says UN panel report

However, this does not mean that limiting global warming to 1.5°C will leave us safe.

Climate Change Conference, scheduled for December in Katowice, Poland, which marks the deadline for nations implementing the 2015 Paris agreement. Countries in the southern hemisphere will be among the worse off, the report said.

The IPCC's previous report, called the Fifth Assessment Synthesis Report (AR5), was completed at the end of 2014 and called for greenhouse gas emissions to be cut to zero by 2100 to limit the risk of irreversible damage from climate change.

"Every 10 years, climate scientists say we have 10 years left to save the planet", Mr. Heller said.

Global temperatures have risen 1 degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels, researchers said, citing human activity and greenhouse gas emissions. "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".

One of the authors of the report quoted earlier, who did not wish to be named, said, "The US had issues with the conclusions, but finally the report were endorsed by all nations".

Action in cities - which consume more than two-thirds of energy globally and account for about three-quarters of carbon emissions - are pivotal to meeting the target, said report author William Solecki, a professor at Hunter College-City University of NY.

The report calls for huge changes in land, energy, industry, buildings, transportation and cities.

Carbon emissions need to reach "net zero" by 2050 and almost halve from 2010 levels by 2030.

The study was urgent because CO2, the main greenhouse gas, reached record levels in the atmosphere past year, and current pledges to cut emissions under the Paris Agreement would lead to warming of about 3 deg C.

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IPCC assessments are a key input into the worldwide negotiations to tackle climate change. Methods to take excess carbon out of the atmosphere will also be needed.

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Debra Roberts, co-chair of IPCC Working Group II (which assesses the impacts of climate change) said the report gives policymakers and practitioners "the information they need to make decisions that tackle climate change while considering local context and people's needs". This impacts agriculture across the world and a global temperature rise of 2C means that the global yield of wheat across existing farmland would entirely be wiped out.

The effectiveness of such techniques are unproven at large scale and some may carry significant risks for sustainable development, the report notes.

Four scenarios are modeled in the report that reflect different strategies governments could take to deliver "no or low overshoot" of the 1.5°C target.

The report drew dire headlines such as CNN's "12 years to stop climate catastrophe", and The Washington Post's "The world has just over a decade to get climate change under control, United Nations scientists say". The world now pumps more than 40 billion tons of Carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year; the IPCC calls for that number to be cut by more than 1 billion tons per year over the next decade.

He was talking to reporters on the sidelines of an event to release a report on "Strengthening Forest Fire Management in India", jointly prepared by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and the World Bank.

Below is some background about the IPCC and the report.

There's only twelve years left to avert climate change disaster, and Scott Morrison's still throwing around words like "nonsense".

Limiting warming to "well below" 1.5 degrees hotter than pre-industrial levels was the promise made by governments all over the world at the Paris climate talks in 2015.

While warming of 2C above pre-industrial levels has widely been thought of as the threshold beyond which risky climate change will occur, vulnerable countries such as low-lying island states warn rises above 1.5C will threaten their survival.

Otherwise, the world will face rising seas, deadly heat waves, floods and shrinking ice caps - and it may not be possible to get climate change under control. People will have to change their energy use and even the foods they eat. It has a scientific robustness that shows 1.5°C is not just a political concession.

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