The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released an alarming report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. The extensive report is presented in five chapters and outlines potential mitigation pathways of the climate scenario, impacts on humans and natural systems, how to strengthen global responses, and pathways for sustainable development. The report produced several key findings. One of the most alarming findings is that if warming continues at the current rate, we may reach 1.5°C above pre-industrial by as early as 2030.
The report made comparisons between 1.5 and 2.0°C above pre-industrial levels, finding that in many cases there is a significant difference in the impact between a 1.5 and 2.0°C planet on biological systems, sea level rise, temperature extremes, climate, food security, and economic growth. Also, the adaptive capacity of humans and natural systems would be greater at 1.5 than 2.0°C. The report states that in order to limit warming to 1.5°C there is a requirement for rapid and far-reaching transitions in energy, land, urban and infrastructure, meaning business-as-usual will not suffice as an option. This presents a momentous challenge for the 21st century. (read more here, here, here, here and here).