Two-degree global warming limit 'ever more elusive': UN

Nov 05, 2013
An Indian street child plays in a dry river bed after flood waters receded in Allahabad on October 25, 2013

The chance of limiting global temperature increases to two degrees Celsius this century are swiftly diminishing, a new United Nations report warned Tuesday, ahead of the body's annual climate talks next week.

Global will be eight to 12 billion tonnes higher than target levels in 2020, even if surveyed countries stick to existing emission-reduction agreements, according to the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) report.

Scientists say avoiding the upper threshold of two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) would avert the worst affects of climate change, but according to the report would likely require a slashing of emissions by 14 percent in 2020.

"The window of opportunity of trying to meet this two-degree target threshold is, in a sense, becoming ever-more elusive," said UNEP chief Achim Steiner.

UNEP officials presented the report at a news conference in Berlin Tuesday.

The annual report projected 2020 emissions of so-called "carbon dioxide equivalents" would be about 59 billion tonnes, a billion tonnes higher than the estimate in last year's report.

"Achieving the two-degree goal is with every year less possible. Emissions always rise, even though they need to sink sharply," German Institute for International and Security Affairs researcher Oliver Geden told AFP.

Geden has called the two-degree target "patently unrealistic" and advocated for it to be dropped or modified.

The UNEP, however, said the goal was still technically possible.

The report highlights the agricultural sector, which contributes about 11 percent of global greenhouse emissions, as an area largely untapped for emissions savings.

It named reducing tilling on farm fields and increased planting of trees and shrubs on agricultural land as among the strategies to eliminate up to four billion tonnes of greenhouse gases in 2020.

Another important factor, Steiner said, is international financial support for developing countries to build renewable energy sources.

"If Africa is by default forced to go down the fossil-fuel path, we are adding an entire China economy to the global carbon budget, to the global oil and gas markets, in just the next 20 or 30 years," Steiner said.

As it becomes less and less likely will be brought down to target levels in 2020, the report warned, more difficult, riskier and expensive steps will be needed later to stave off effects of global warming.

"The minute we have to begin to deploy technologies that the market simply cannot sustain, it is the taxpayer who will have to step in," Steiner said.

The was issued ahead of annual UN starting Monday in Warsaw.

More than 190 countries will meet to set a timetable towards a new binding, global climate agreement to be signed in 2015 and go into effect in 2020.

Explore further: 3Qs: Game theory and global climate talks

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User comments : 5

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goracle
1.8 / 5 (15) Nov 05, 2013
Most used climate myths debunked: http://skepticals...ment.php
I've included that link because of the irrational and politically motivated posts that will inevitably appear. The usual responses to this comment will attack the messenger, claim that we are the deniers, pose as victims, don the mantle of Galileo, invoke conspiracy theory or just spew hate.
Howhot
4.2 / 5 (5) Nov 06, 2013
Scientists say avoiding the upper threshold of two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) would avert the worst affects of climate change, but according to the report would likely require a slashing of emissions by 14 percent in 2020.


14% is global output of course, so that will need to be divided up with China, India, the USA for the most part. It will take political leadership by the USA to make reductions that will influence China and India as to our resolve on the issue. With stupid conservatism influencing its general population and locking up it's ability to govern, the USA will not provide direction needed to alter the 2020 outcome.

Looks like the deniers will get their cream-dream! Total extinction of planet Earth!
ubavontuba
1 / 5 (20) Nov 07, 2013
Two-degree global warming limit 'ever more elusive': UN
Really? Let's check:

http://www.woodfo....7/trend

Hmm ...so far it's looking pretty good.

Howhot
3 / 5 (2) Nov 12, 2013
Two-degree global warming limit 'ever more elusive': UN
Really? Let's check:

http://www.woodfo....7/trend

Hmm ...so far it's looking pretty good.


Really, that is not what the climate.gov website shows; Scroll down to the Climate Dashboard and you can compare your data with that of a conservative model.

http://www.climate.gov/

ubavontuba
1 / 5 (14) Nov 12, 2013
Two-degree global warming limit 'ever more elusive': UN
Really? Let's check:

http://www.woodfo....7/trend

Hmm ...so far it's looking pretty good.
Really, that is not what the climate.gov website shows; Scroll down to the Climate Dashboard and you can compare your data with that of a conservative model.

http://www.climate.gov/
So actual temperature data is less believable than a conservative model now? LOL

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