Yahoo News Explains: Why we're closer to climate catastrophe than we thought


By Kayla Jardine

The planet is even closer to catastrophe than scientists previously predicted, according to a new report from the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The report, that took 3 years to create and included 91 authors from 40 countries, says the planet will reach the crucial threshold of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels as early as 2040.

Scientists predict that any higher than 1.5°C and the effects will be irreversible. "There is extreme urgency and countries were giving their pledges after the Paris agreement and so far, the progress has not been good enough," said World Meteorological Organizations secretary, Petteri Taalas.

Earth is already two-thirds of the way to reaching this disastrous level, and according to co-chair of the IPCC, Panmao Zhai, the planet is already feeling the effects through more extreme weather, rising sea levels, and diminishing Arctic sea.

The report also says in order to limit global warming, governments around the world must take "rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society."

But President Trump has long-criticized climate change measures.

"My plan also includes a promise to cancel billions and billions of dollars in climate change spending for the United Nations," he said in a campaign speech in 2016.

Back in 2017, President Trump pulled the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Agreement, an environmental action accord signed by 195 nations to help stop climate change.

French President Emmanuel Macron, who helped lead the Paris Climate Agreement reiterated his passion to stop climate change in a tweet.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison says his country won't contribute any more money to the Global Climate Fund, while the White House has yet to comment on the report.

If temperatures rise even .5°C higher than the crucial point, almost all coral reefs would be wiped out, and nearly 10 million people would be affected due to sea levels rising .1 meters.

"Because what is the meaning of our life, really, if we work and live destroying the planet, one sacrifice things for the future of our children," said French President Emmanuel Macron.


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