Click to Translate to English Click to Translate to French  Click to Translate to Spanish  Click to Translate to German  Click to Translate to Italian  Click to Translate to Japanese  Click to Translate to Chinese Simplified  Click to Translate to Korean  Click to Translate to Arabic  Click to Translate to Russian  Click to Translate to Portuguese


Forum Home Forum Home > General Discussion > General Discussion > Off Topic Discussion
  New Posts New Posts RSS Feed - Attenborough: Climate change 'our greatest threat
  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login

Online Discussion: Tracking new emerging diseases and the next pandemic

Attenborough: Climate change 'our greatest threat

 Post Reply Post Reply
Author
Message
carbon20 View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group


Joined: April 08 2006
Location: West Australia
Status: Offline
Points: 27591
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote carbon20 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Attenborough: Climate change 'our greatest threat
    Posted: December 03 2018 at 1:49pm
Sir David Attenborough: Climate change 'our greatest threat'
By Matt McGrath
Environment correspondent, Katowice
3 December 2018
2268 comments Share this with Facebook Share this with Messenger Share this with Twitter Share this with Email Share
Related TopicsUN climate change conference 2018

Media captionSir David Attenborough addressing the climate change conference in Poland.
The naturalist Sir David Attenborough has said climate change is humanity's greatest threat in thousands of years.

The broadcaster said it could lead to the collapse of civilisations and the extinction of "much of the natural world".

He was speaking at the opening ceremony of United Nations-sponsored climate talks in Katowice, Poland.

The meeting is the most critical on climate change since the 2015 Paris agreement.

Sir David said: "Right now, we are facing a man-made disaster of global scale. Our greatest threat in thousands of years. Climate change.

"If we don't take action, the collapse of our civilisations and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizon."

The naturalist is taking up the "People's Seat" at the conference, called COP24. He is supposed to act as a link between the public and policy-makers at the meeting.

"The world's people have spoken. Their message is clear. Time is running out. They want you, the decision-makers, to act now," he said.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary-General, said climate change was already "a matter of life and death" for many countries.

He explained that the world is "nowhere near where it needs to be" on the transition to a low-carbon economy.

But the UN Secretary-General said the conference was an effort to "right the ship" and he would convene a climate summit next year to discuss next steps.

Meanwhile, the World Bank has announced $200bn in funding over five years to support countries taking action against climate change.

Climate change: Where we are in seven charts
What is climate change?
'Trump effect' limits action on climate
Media captionClimate activist: 'It's high time that Poland phased out coal'
What's so different about this meeting?
This Conference of the Parties (COP) is the first to be held since the landmark Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report on limiting global temperature rise to 1.5C came out in October.

The IPCC stated that to keep to the 1.5C goal, governments would have to slash emissions of greenhouse gases by 45% by 2030.

But a recent study showed that CO2 emissions are on the rise again after stalling for four years.

In an unprecedented move, four former UN climate talks presidents issued a statement on Sunday, calling for urgent action.

They say "decisive action in the next two years will be crucial".


Media captionClimate change: How 1.5C could change the world
Meanwhile, the gap between what countries say they are doing and what needs to be done has never been wider.

So urgent is the task that some negotiators began their meetings on Sunday, a day before the official start.

Will global leaders be attending?
Yes, some 29 heads of state and government are due to give statements at the opening of the meeting.

The number is way down on the stellar cast that turned up in Paris in 2015, which perhaps indicates that many are seeing this as more a technical stage on the road to tackling climate change than a big bang moment.

But for the likes of China and the EU, the meeting is critical. They will want to show that international co-operation can still work even in the age of President Trump.

How years compare with the 20th Century average
2018

10 warmest years10 coldest years
J
F
M
A
M
J
J
A
S
O
N
D
Months
-0.8
-0.6
-0.4
-0.2
20th Centuryaverage
+0.2
+0.4
+0.6
+0.8
+1.0
+1.2
Colder
Hotter
Source: NOAA

REPLAY
So will cutting carbon be the main focus of the meeting?
Rather than spending all their time working on how to increase ambitions to cut carbon, conference delegates are likely to focus on trying to finalise the technical rules of how the Paris agreement will work.

Image copyrightFABRICE COFFRINI
Image caption
A collage of children's drawing about climate change laid out on a glacier in Switzerland
While the agreement was ratified in record time by more than 180 countries in 2016, it doesn't become operational until 2020.

Before then, delegates must sort out common rules on measuring, reporting and verifying (checking to avoid the misreporting of) greenhouse gas emissions, and on how climate finance is going to be provided.

"The rulebook is the thing that will absorb most of the negotiators' capacity at this year's COP," said Camilla Born, from the climate change think tank, E3G.

"It's no surprise, as agreeing the Paris rules is both technically and politically a complicated task - but it is worth it!"

What is in the Paris climate agreement?
Last four years are 'world's hottest'
Race to pull greenhouse gases from air
Right now, that rule book runs to several hundred pages with thousands of brackets, indicating areas of dispute.

But what about limiting emissions?
Under the Paris agreement, each country decides for itself the actions it will take when it comes to cutting carbon. Some observers believe that the changed mood and the urgency of the science will prompt action.

"We are hoping that at COP24, countries will make declarations of how they will raise their ambitions by 2020. This is a very important moment," said Fernanda Carvalho with campaign group WWF.

"Two years is a short time span for that to happen. Countries need to act fast."

Why is the UN process slow-moving?
There is much frustration with the snail-like pace, especially among some campaigners who feel that the scale of the threat posed by rising temperatures hasn't been fully grasped by politicians.

Image copyrightHANNA FRANZEN
Image caption
Greta Thunberg, who has refused to go to school in Sweden in protest over climate change, will be attending COP24
"Governments across the world have completely failed to protect their citizens," said a spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion, the social movement that pushes for radical change on climate issues.

"Instead, they have pursued quick profit and big business. We need this to change. At COP24, we want to ensure that the focus is not just on getting the technical Paris rulebook as robust as possible, but also that governments do not lose sight of the bigger picture."

Others involved in the UN process say that real progress is being made in tackling one of the most complex problems ever faced by the world.

"We have a $300bn renewable energy economy at work today - it's not peanuts; it's an energy revolution that has unfolded on the back of, yes, a sometimes sticky climate negotiation process," said Achim Steiner, who heads the United Nations Development Programme.

How much of a role will money play in making progress in Poland?
Many developing countries see progress on issues around finance to be critical to moving forward. They have been promised $100bn every year from 2020 as part of the Paris agreement.

Some are sceptical about what they see as foot-dragging and obfuscation by richer countries when it comes to handing over the cash. Negotiators say that moving forward on finance is the lynchpin of progress in this meeting.

"A key finding of the recent IPCC report, and one that has often been overlooked, is that without a dramatic increase in the provision of climate finance, the possibility of limiting warming to 2C (to say nothing of the safer 1.5C goal) will irretrievably slip away," said Amjad Abdulla, chief negotiator for the Alliance of Small Island States.

Are there concerns the meeting is in a country reliant on coal?
Yes - among government negotiators and observers alike. The fact that the conference is taking place in a strong coal region, in a city that is home to the biggest coal company in the EU, is troubling to many.

The Polish government says that it is sticking with the fuel, and has announced that it is planning to invest next year in the construction of a new coal mine in Silesia.

This bullish approach has drawn condemnation from some.

"Unfortunately, this week's announcement by the [meeting's] Polish presidency that it will include coal companies as sponsors of the COP sends a very worrisome signal before the conference even begins," said Sébastien Duyck, a senior attorney at the Centre for International Environmental Law.

Will President Trump and the US feature at all?
Although the US has withdrawn from the Paris agreement, it cannot leave until 2020, so its negotiators have been taking part in meetings and have not obstructed the process. America is expected to participate in COP24.

However, given the President's well known love of coal, it has been reported that the White House will once again organise a side event promoting fossil fuels. A similar event at the last COP provoked outrage from many delegates.

UN climate conference 03 Dec- 14 Dec 2018
The summit comes three years after the 2015 Paris accord on climate change, at which all countries agreed a plan to limit carbon emissions. Now is the moment governments must start deciding what to do to make sure that plan is put into effect.

In graphics: Seven charts that show the rate of warming
Advice: What can I do to help?
Latest updates: See the BBC News page (or follow "Climate change" tag in the BBC News app)
12 Monkeys...............
1995 ‧ Science fiction film/Thriller ‧ 2h 11m a must for AFT
Back to Top
carbon20 View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group


Joined: April 08 2006
Location: West Australia
Status: Offline
Points: 27591
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote carbon20 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 03 2018 at 2:37pm
Climate change: Where we are in seven charts and what you can do to help
2 December 2018
Share this with Facebook Share this with Messenger Share this with Twitter Share this with Email Share
Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Representatives from nearly 200 countries are gathering in Poland for talks on climate change - aimed at breathing new life into the Paris Agreement.

The UN has warned the 2015 Paris accord's goal of limiting global warming to "well below 2C above pre-industrial levels" is in danger because major economies, including the US and the EU, are falling short of their pledges.

But scientists at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) - the leading international body on global warming - last month argued the 2C Paris pledge didn't go far enough. The global average temperature rise actually needed to be kept below 1.5C, they said.

So how warm has the world got and what can we do about it?

1. The world has been getting hotter
The world is now nearly one degree warmer than it was before widespread industrialisation, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

The global average temperature for the first 10 months of 2018 was 0.98C above the levels of 1850-1900, according to five independently maintained global data sets.

How years compare with the 20th Century average
2018

10 warmest years10 coldest years
J
F
M
A
M
J
J
A
S
O
N
D
Months
-0.8
-0.6
-0.4
-0.2
20th Centuryaverage
+0.2
+0.4
+0.6
+0.8
+1.0
+1.2
Colder
Hotter
Source: NOAA

REPLAY
(If you can't see this chart tap or click here)

The 20 warmest years on record have been in the past 22 years, with 2015-2018 making up the top four, the WMO says.

If this trend continues, temperatures may rise by 3-5C by 2100.

One degree may not sound like much, but, according to the IPCC, if countries fail to act, the world will face catastrophic change - sea levels will rise, ocean temperatures and acidity will increase and our ability to grow crops, such as rice, maize and wheat, would be in danger.

What is in the Paris climate agreement?
Final call to stop 'climate catastrophe'
Urgency the key at major climate summit
2. The year 2018 set all sorts of records
This year saw record high temperatures in many places across the world amid an unusually prolonged period of hot weather.

Large parts of the northern hemisphere saw a succession of heatwaves take hold in Europe, Asia, North America and northern Africa - a result of strong high pressure systems that created a "heat dome".

Over the period shown on the map below (May to July 2018), the yellow dots show where a heat record was broken on a given date, pink indicates places that were the hottest they had ever been in the month shown, and dark red represents a place that was the hottest since records began.

The hottest that this location has ever been...
Tap or click to explore the data

Source: Robert A. Rohde/Berkeley Earth. Map built using Carto

The concern is that such hot and cold weather fronts are being blocked - stuck over regions for long periods - more frequently because of climate change, leading to more extreme weather events.

3. We are not on track to meet climate change targets
If we add up all the promises to cut emissions made by countries that have signed the Paris climate agreement, the world would still warm by more than 3C by the end of this century.

Over the past three years, climate scientists have shifted the definition of what they believe is the "safe" limit of climate change.

For decades, researchers argued the global temperature rise must be kept below 2C by the end of this century to avoid the worst impacts.

Countries signing up to the Paris agreement pledged to keep temperatures "well below 2C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5C".

But scientists now agree that we actually need to keep temperature rises to below 1.5C.

4. The biggest emitters are China and the US
The countries emitting the most greenhouse gases by quite a long way are China and the US. Together they account for more than 40% of the global total, according to 2017 data from the European Commission's Joint Research Centre and PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency.

The US's environmental policy has shifted under the Trump administration, which has pursued a pro-fossil fuels agenda.

After taking office, President Donald Trump announced the US would withdraw from the Paris climate change agreement.

At the time, Mr Trump said he wanted to negotiate a new "fair" deal that would not disadvantage US businesses and workers.

5. Urban areas are particularly under threat
Almost all (95%) of cities facing extreme climate risks are in Africa or Asia, a report by risk analysts Verisk Maplecroft has found.

And it's the faster-growing cities that are most at risk, including megacities like Lagos in Nigeria and Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Some 84 of the world's 100 fastest-growing cities face "extreme" risks from rising temperatures and extreme weather brought on by climate change.

6. Arctic sea ice is also in danger
The extent of Arctic sea ice has dropped in recent years. It reached its lowest point on record in 2012.

Sea ice has been reducing for decades, with melting accelerating since the early 2000s, according to the UK Parliament's Environmental Audit Committee.

The Arctic Ocean may be ice free in the summer as soon as the 2050s, unless emissions are reduced, the committee has said.

The WMO found the extent of Arctic sea ice in 2018 was much lower than normal, with the maximum in March the third lowest on record and the September minimum the sixth lowest.

7. We can all do more to help
While governments need to make big changes - individuals can play a role too.

Scientists say we all have to make "rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes" to our lifestyles, in order to avoid severely damaging climate change.

The IPCC says we need to: buy less meat, milk, cheese and butter; eat more locally sourced seasonal food - and throw less of it away; drive electric cars but walk or cycle short distances; take trains and buses instead of planes; use videoconferencing instead of business travel; use a washing line instead of a tumble dryer; insulate homes; demand low carbon in every consumer product.

The single biggest way to reduce your environmental impact on the planet is to modify your diet to include less meat - according to recent studies.

Scientists say we ought to eat less meat because of the carbon emissions the meat industry produces, as well as other negative environmental impacts.

A recent study published in the journal Science highlighted a massive variation in the environmental impact of producing the same food.

For example, beef cattle raised on deforested land produces 12 times more greenhouse gas emissions than those reared on natural pastures.

Crucially, the analysis shows that meat with the lowest environmental impact still creates more greenhouse gas emissions than growing vegetables and cereal crops in the least environmentally-friendly way.

But as well as altering our diets, research suggests that farming practices need to change significantly to benefit the environment.

By Nassos Stylianou, Clara Guibourg, Daniel Dunford and Lucy Rodgers
12 Monkeys...............
1995 ‧ Science fiction film/Thriller ‧ 2h 11m a must for AFT
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down