Scientists find world on track to burn 3,600tn tonnes of carbon

Over 90 percent of the world is predicted to see warming impacts through 2080 according to UN report that highlights climate change is no longer a distant problem The world is on track to…

Scientists find world on track to burn 3,600tn tonnes of carbon

Over 90 percent of the world is predicted to see warming impacts through 2080 according to UN report that highlights climate change is no longer a distant problem

The world is on track to burn 3,600tn tonnes of carbon dioxide in a warm world – enough to rule out a balanced climate, according to the conclusions of a new UN report.

Authors of the report, released on Friday, also warn that serious climatic impacts could become predictable and engulf large parts of the world.

Experts from the UN’s climate change secretariat in Bonn warn that scientists are “no longer reasonably confident” that the “planetary boundaries” – the point at which humanity could be achieving climate stability – would not be breached.

Over 90 percent of the world is predicted to see warming impacts through 2080, “high confidence” temperature rises and global mean sea level rise of 2.5m, according to the report, which was drawn up by 376 scientists from 39 countries.

It warns that average global temperatures will rise at least 2C above pre-industrial levels, as well as rising in the 20th century.

Parts of Russia, the Americas, Africa and Australia are predicted to bear the brunt of climate extremes, from weather-related disasters to heatwaves and droughts.

“The world is likely to be substantially warmer than the current 20th century average by mid-century,” concludes the report.

“There is no longer any plausible scenario where, in the long run, the atmosphere may not have warmed enough to avoid large, harmful anthropogenic climate change effects.”

It urges governments and the private sector to “put in place policies which reduce or avoid … the most problematic emission pathways.”

The report follows three UN global climate change assessments released in recent months which show that the Earth is warming at the fastest rate since the industrial revolution, and that high levels of greenhouse gases are destabilising the climate.

“The conclusions of this report are no longer credible; they make it extremely unlikely that the stable climate settings set out in the IPCC assessments have been achieved,” wrote Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, in a comment for the report.

The latest findings come only two weeks before the five-yearly meeting of countries under the climate change convention, which will be held in Katowice, Poland, from 5-17 March.

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Weary of warnings of the effects of climate change by global leaders and even other scientists, British negotiators are likely to put the emphasis on curbing emissions that have skyrocketed, according to the Guardian.

Britain has already done its fair share of fighting climate change with strict controls on carbon emissions, such as its power stations and car fleet.

But the UK, with its centuries-old economy, is a laggard compared with countries such as China, and while countries such as the US – whose permanent envoy to the UN Kevin Kennedy could become the next energy secretary – are likely to push for fossil fuel subsidies to be cut or even abolished.

More investment in renewables – supported by the UK government, which has been investing £8bn a year – is expected at the meeting, but it remains unclear whether countries will back a proposal from the European Commission to establish a common, regional market for electricity – which is needed in the EU but rejected by member states at a meeting in December.

The UN conference in Peru ends on 22 September. A series of technical reports, including the global assessment, will be released in coming months.

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