IPCC Report Image http://report.ipcc.ch/sr15/pdf/sr15_spm_fig2.pdf

IPCC publish report on global warming of 1.5°C

8 October 2018

UK scientists have played key roles in contributing to the "Global Warming of 1.5ºC" report, released today by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The global average temperature has already risen by 1°C since pre-industrial times, and we are now seeing the consequences of that in more extreme weather and sea-level rise. This report highlights a number of climate change impacts that could be avoided by limiting global warming to 1.5ºC compared to 2ºC, or more. 

The report references more than 6000 scientific studies including those that use computer models of the atmosphere and ocean to assess how different levels of greenhouse gas emissions over the coming years– called emissions pathways – will affect average temperatures and extreme events.

Dr Emily Shuckburgh, Deputy Head of Polar Oceans at the British Antarctic Survey, said:

 “This report presents two starkly different futures. It methodically articulates how the risks of extreme weather and sea level rise, of species loss and extinction, and of a deterioration in many dimensions of human wellbeing increase substantially from 1.5°C to 2°C of warming. The report also warns, for instance, that catastrophic loss of ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica, which would eventually result in many metres of sea level rise, could be triggered at around 1.5°C to 2°C of global warming.

“Everyone should take careful note: governments, businesses and individuals. Today we are on a pathway to reach 3°C by the end of the century. The report makes clear that decisions made across society over the next few years will make a radical difference to our future climate and will determine the fate of future generations.”