Incheon (South Korea): Limiting global warming to 1.5°C would require rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society and the world only has 12 years to achieve it, a UN report on climate change said on Monday.
The authors of the landmark report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have warned that even half a degree beyond 1.5°C will significantly worsen the risks of drought, floods, extreme heat and poverty for hundreds of millions of people.
The Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C was approved by the IPCC on Saturday in Incheon, Republic of Korea.
It will be a key scientific input into the Katowice Climate Change Conference in Poland in December, when world governments review the Paris 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,” said Hoesung Lee, Chair of the IPCC in an official online press release on Monday, a copy of which was accessed by The Kashmir Monitor.
Ninety-one authors and review editors from 40 countries prepared the IPCC report in response to an invitation from the United Nations 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 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 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.
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,” says the report.
“Limiting warming to 1.5ºC 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.
For instance, by 2100, global sea level rise would be 10 cm lower with global warming of 1.5C compared with 2C. 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 2C.
Coral reefs would decline by 70-90 percent with global warming of 1.5°C, whereas virtually all would be lost with 2C.
“Every extra bit of warming matters, especially since warming of 1.5C 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 1.5ºC, what it would take to achieve them and what the consequences could be.
The world is currently 1°C warmer than preindustrial levels. Following devastating hurricanes in the US, record droughts in Cape Town and forest fires in the Arctic, the IPCC makes clear that climate change is already happening, upgraded its risk warning from previous reports, and warned that every fraction of additional warming would worsen the impact.
At 1.5C the proportion of the global population exposed to water stress could be 50% lower than at 2C, it notes. Food scarcity would be less of a problem and hundreds of millions fewer people, particularly in poor countries, would be at risk of climate-related poverty.
At 2°C extremely hot days, such as those experienced in the northern hemisphere this summer, would become more severe and common, increasing heat-related deaths and causing more forest fires.
But the greatest difference would be to nature. Insects, which are vital for pollination of crops, and plants are almost twice as likely to lose half their habitat at 2C compared with 1.5C. Corals would be 99% lost at the higher of the two temperatures, but more than 10% have a chance of surviving if the lower target is reached.
Sea-level rise would affect 10 million more people by 2100 if the half-degree extra warming brought a forecast 10cm additional pressure on coastlines. The number affected would increase substantially in the following centuries due to locked-in ice melt.
Oceans are already suffering from elevated acidity and lower levels of oxygen as a result of climate change. One model shows marine fisheries would lose 3m tonnes at 2C, twice the decline at 1.5C.
Sea ice-free summers in the Arctic, which is warming two to three times fast than the world average, would come once every 100 years at 1.5C, but every 10 years with half a degree more of global warming.
Time and carbon budgets are running out. By mid-century, a shift to the lower goal would require a supercharged roll-back of emissions sources that have built up over the past 250 years.
The IPCC maps out four pathways to achieve 1.5C, with different combinations of land use and technological change. Reforestation is essential to all of them as are shifts to electric transport systems and greater adoption of carbon capture technology.
Carbon pollution would have to be cut by 45% by 2030 – compared with a 20% cut under the 2C pathway – and come down to zero by 2050, compared with 2075 for 2C. This would require carbon prices that are three to four times higher than for a 2C target. But the costs of doing nothing would be far higher.
“We have presented governments with pretty hard choices. We have pointed out the enormous benefits of keeping to 1.5C, and also the unprecedented shift in energy systems and transport that would be needed to achieve that,” said Jim Skea, a co-chair of the working group on mitigation.
“We show it can be done within laws of physics and chemistry. Then the final tick box is political will. We cannot answer that. Only our audience can – and that is the governments that receive it.”
He said the main finding of his group was the need for urgency. Although unexpectedly good progress has been made in the adoption of renewable energy, deforestation for agriculture was turning a natural carbon sink into a source of emissions. Carbon capture and storage projects, which are essential for reducing emissions in the concrete and waste disposal industries, have also ground to a halt.
Reversing these trends is essential if the world has any chance of reaching 1.5C without relying on the untried technology of solar radiation modification and other forms of geo-engineering, which could have negative consequences.
In the run-up to the final week of negotiations, there were fears the text of the report would be watered down by the US, Saudi Arabia and other oil-rich countries that are reluctant to consider more ambitious cuts. The authors said nothing of substance was cut from a text.
The report will be presented to governments at the UN climate conference in Poland at the end of this year. But analysts say there is much work to be done, with even pro-Paris deal nations involved in fossil fuel extraction that runs against the spirit of their commitments. Britain is pushing ahead with gas fracking, Norway with oil exploration in the Arctic, and the German government wants to tear down Hambach forest to dig for coal.
At the current level of commitments, the world is on course for a disastrous 3C of warming. The report authors are refusing to accept defeat, believing the increasingly visible damage caused by climate change will shift opinion their way.
Won’t hesitate from another ‘surgical strike’ if need arises: Lt Gen Anbu
Dehradun, Dec 9: Vice Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen Devraj Anbu has said the security forces would not hesitate to launch another surgical strike if the need to do so arises.
“The surgical strike on militant launchpads across the border was a show of strength by our armed forces and we won’t hesitate to do it again if the enemy challenges us,” Lt Gen Anbu said in reply to a question by reporters on the sidelines of the Indian Military Academy’s Passing Out Parade (POP) in Dehradun on Saturday.
India conducted the “surgical strike” on September 29, 2016 across the Line of Control as a response to attack on an Indian Army base in Uri sector of Jammu and Kashmir earlier that month. Nineteen Indian soldiers were killed in the attack.
On Friday, Lt Gen (retd) D S Hooda, who was the Northern Army commander when the surgical strikes were carried out, said the constant hype around the precision operation was unwarranted. He, however, said it was natural to have initial euphoria over the success of the military action.
Responding to a question from the audience during a panel discussion in Chandigarh, Lt Gen Hooda said in hindsight, it would have been better had “we done it (surgical strikes) secretly”.
On the plans to give women combat roles in the armed forces, Lt Gen Anbu said different aspects of the proposition are being examined as conditions along the borders with Pakistan and China are different from the rest of the country.
In July this year, Army chief Gen Bipin Rawat said the process to allow women in combat role, currently an exclusive domain of men, is moving fast and initially women will be recruited for positions in military police.
In November, he said the Indian Army is not yet ready to have women in combat roles. He said there are several other fields where the Army was thinking of inducting women and there were plans to have women as interpreters.
Lt Gen Anbu was in Dehradun to address the POP at IMA as the reviewing officer.
The POP saw a total of 427 gentlemen cadets including 80 from seven friendly foreign countries graduating from the academy.
14 dead in Poonch road mishap
Srinagar, Dec 8: In a tragic incident, at least 14 people were killed after a bus skidded off the road and plunged into a deep gorge in Plera in Mandi tehsil of Poonch district on Saturday.
Apart from the fatalities, at least 12 people were injured in the accident.
An official said that a passenger bus (registration number JK02W0445) heading towards Poonch from Loran skidded off the road and fell into a deep gorge at Plera around 9:15 am.
He said that at least 14 persons travelling on the bus died in the accident while at least 12 others were injured.
The injured were shifted to sub-district hospital Mandi for treatment.
The deceased included a two-year-old girl identified as AfiaParveen and her mother Parveen Akhter (35) of Loyal Bella village.
Others who died in the accident were identified as Aijaz Ahmad (32) of Sib, Mohammad Yasar (10) of Loyal Bella village, Wali Mohd (72) of Barachar, Ghulam Hussain (52) and Bashir Ahmad (38) of Chikri, Shariefa (40), Nazia Akhter (17), Gulshan Akhter (21), Mohammad Yousuf (26), Bashir Ahmad (50), Abdula Rashid (45) and Mohammad Rashid (55) all resident of Loran village.
Earlier in the day, Block Medical Officer Poonch Syed Mushtaq Hussain had said that eleven persons died in the accident.
“19 passengers were injured in the accident. Five critically injured patients were referred to district hospital Poonch for specialised treatment,” he said.
Three more people succumbed to their injuries on way or at the hospital taking the overall death toll to 14.
Governor J&K, Satya Pal Malik expressed grief and anguish over the loss of precious lives in the tragic road.
In his message, Governor has prayed for eternal peace to the departed souls and expressed sympathies with the bereaved families. He has wished speedy recovery to those injured in this accident.
Abdullahs, Mehbooba anguished
Srinagar, Dec 8: National Conference president Farooq Abdullah and Vice President Omar Abdullah expressed deep sorrow and anguish over the loss of lives in a tragic road accidentin Plera in Mandi tehsil of Poonch district on Saturday.
Farooq described the loss of lives as unfortunate and tragic.
“It’s alarming how such accidents have become a routine now in the state. I convey my heartfelt sympathies to the families of those killed in the accident,” he said adding, “The causes of the fateful accident should be ascertained. The incumbent government needs to devise a strategy to reduce these tragedies,” he said.
Omar, while expressing concern over the recurrence of such fatal accidents in the Chenab valley and Pirpanchal areas said: “The incumbent administration should do an appraisal of the factors concerning passenger safety in the areas as are mostly hilly. It is heart wrenching to hear about such deadly incidents happening time and again.”
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) President and former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti too expressed shock and grief over the loss of lives in the tragic road accident.
In a statement issued here, the PDP president described the deaths in the accident as unfortunate and tragic. She also conveyed her sympathies to the families of those killed in the accident.
The PDP president further expressed concern over the surge being witnessed in road accidents in the hilly areas of the State and asked the state government to review the status of the parameters pertaining to passenger safety, road and vehicle conditions in the state in general and in the hilly areas in particular.
Mehbooba Mufti has extended heartfelt condolences to the families of those who died in the tragic accident while praying for speedy recovery to those who were injured in the accident.
Geelani,Mirwaiz grieved over loss of lives
Srinagar, Dec 8:Hurriyat (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani expressed his deep condolence with the families of all those persons killed after a bus skidded off the road and plunged into a deep gorge at Mandi Poonch on Saturday.
In a statement, Saturday, senior Hurriyat leader consoled the injured people in the accident.
Praying for their heavenly abode and bestowal of forbearance to their near and dear ones, the Hurriyat leader expressed his anguish on the criminal negligence committed by the authorities for the disproportionate development of the whole Chenab valley.
Hurriyat (G) Chairman condemned the discrimination adopted by the authorities, towards the Chenab region on the ground.
Meanwhile, Chairman Hurriyat (M) Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Saturday expressed grief over the loss of lives in an accident at Mandi area of Poonch district.
Taking to the social networking site, Twitter Mirwaiz wrote: “Deeply grieved at the loss of life in the tragic road accident at Poonch. My condolences to the affected families. Pray to almighty for speedy recovery of the injured.”
Two militants killed; at least 5 forces personnel injured in Srinagar gunfight
Srinagar, Dec 8:Two militants were killed while SOG man and a soldier were injured in an ongoing gunfight at Mujgund on Srinagar-Bandipora road on Saturday.
The encounter ensued late in the afternoon when a joint team of army’s 5 RR, SOG and CRPF launched a cordon and search operation at Mujgund following inputs about the presence of some militants.
As the joint team zeroed in on a suspected house, militants hiding inside opened fire which was retaliated by the joint team, triggering off a fierce gunfight, an official told GNS.
The gunfight continued even after there were intervals of lull, the official said.
A soldier and an SOG man were injured during the course of the gunfight and have been removed to a hospital, he said.
A senior police officer, as per GNS, said that two militant bodies were visible but have not been retrieved so far.
The firing has stopped as of now and searches are being launched to retrieve the bodies, he said.
“There were inputs about the presence of three militants. While two militants have been killed, the fate of another one is unknown so far,” the officer said.
As per unconfirmed reports, the slain militants included a 14-year-old boy as well. The same however could not be verified independently.
Meanwhile, sources said that the three residential houses have suffered damages, one of them substantially. On Twitter, police confirmed that an exchange of fire took place between the militants and the forces in Mujgund on Bandipora road.
As per reports, five forces’ personnel included an army man, CRPF man and three Special Operations Group (SOG) personnel were wounded in the gunfight.
Local reports said that four houses were blasted by the forces during the gunfight. They said sound of huge blasts was heard in the area.
‘230 militants killed in 2018, 240 still active’
Srinagar, Dec 8: Over 230 militants have been killed in Jammu and Kashmir this year so far, while as 240 including foreign militants are active in the state , officials said Saturday.
As many as 51 militants were killed in the 80-day period from June 25 to September 14, while 85 militants were killed between September 15 and December 5, an official told PTI.
The official further said that a total of 232 militants have been killed so far this year, while 240 militants, including foreigners, are active in the Kashmir Valley.
Eight people, including forces personnel, were killed and 216 others, including government forces, received injuries between June 25 and September 14 this year.
In the subsequent 80 days — from September 15 to December 5 — just two people were killed and 170 others received injuries during stone throwing incidents, the official said.
In the last one decade of conflict in Kashmir, highest number of people have been killed in 2018 so far. Around 529 people have lost lives till November and nearly 3250 people have been killed in the last one decade. (PTI)