There’s no cliff edge

A new report on climate change will say (no surprise ahead) that the trend is not good. Not good at all.

The planet is odds-on to hit 1.5C of global warming within 20 years, the world’s leading climate scientists will warn in a milestone report tomorrow.

A 1.5C rise in average global temperatures on pre-industrial levels is widely considered to be the point beyond which climate change will become increasingly dangerous. 

Eh? It’s already becoming increasingly dangerous – it’s been doing that for decades, or ever since we started burning coal and oil at steadily escalating rates.

The cabinet minister Alok Sharma, president of Cop26, said countries must work harder to reduce emissions and ensure the threshold is not breached. “This report will be a big wake-up call for countries to do even more,” he said.

Even more than what? Countries aren’t really doing anything, are they? Other than talking? Cars, planes, container ships, cruise ships – they’re all still out there doing their thing.

Professor Ed Hawkins, a climate scientist at Reading University and a lead author of the report, declined to discuss the content of the paper, but said: “Every fraction of the degree matters. There’s no cliff edge where impacts suddenly go from being fine to being disastrous. It’s a gradual worsening of the impacts as global temperatures rise.”

What I’m saying. It’s not as if everything’s ok now, because we haven’t hit the 1.5 mark yet. Greece and California are in flames; everything’s not ok.

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