Ex-EPA chief says burning coal is worst thing for climate change

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Temperatures to rise 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2030-2052 without rapid steps: UN report

The events are being reported as two parts of the same story, but they reveal the contradictions inherent in climate policy-and why economics matters more than ever.

Instead, Trump has pulled out of the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change mitigation, though we can't officially leave until November 4, 2020, the day after the next presidential election. We shall wait and see how much of the world takes up the challenge. Corals have already been battered by our current rise in global temperatures, which has risen by 1°C over the past 150 or so years.

It warns that if greenhouse gas emissions continue unabated, the atmosphere will climb to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels by 2040, adding to rising seas and propelling more severe storms, wildfires, food shortages, heat waves, droughts and floods.

Keeping the 1.5°C target would keep the global sea level rise 0.1m lower by 2100 than a 2°C target, the report said.

Deep in the report, scientists say less than 2 percent of 529 of their calculated possible future scenarios kept warming below the 1.5 goal without the temperature going above that and somehow coming back down in the future.

The report was the first commissioned by world leaders under the Paris Climate Accord from which President Trump is withdrawing the US and was first covered by The New York Times.

The dramatic report warned that the planet is now heading to warm by 3C - and to slash that to less than 1.5C as laid out in the Paris agreement will require "rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society".

President Donald Trump says he plans to review the United Nations report that warns of global warming-caused chaos unless drastic action is taken - although he says he's skeptical of its authors.

He said: 'We know what is needed to limit global warming to 1.50C and we can do it relying mostly on proven technologies such as decisively scaling up renewable energy and halting deforestation. "What we've done is said what the world needs to do", Imperial College London's Jim Skea, cochair of the IPCC panel, said at a press conference.

While an extra half a degree over that limit of 1.5 degrees might seem insignificant‚ a shocking landmark report just released by the United Nations has taken the world by storm‚ showing how hitting a 2 degree rise would spell doom. How much more urgent can it get?" and "Science pronounces its verdict: "World to be doomed at 2°C, less unsafe at 1.5°C" and "A major new climate report slams the door on wishful thinking".

"The next few years are probably the most important in human history", Debra Roberts, head of the Environmental Planning and Climate Protection Department in Durban, South Africa, and an IPCC co-chair, told AFP news agency. It would also cut down on species loss and extinction and reduce the impact on various ecosystems. But it is change on a scale we have never experienced before: "There is no historical precedent for the scale of the necessary transitions, in particular in a socially and economically sustainable way". Anyone living in New York City can testify to the extreme summer heat and freakish lack of fall weather despite it being nearly two weeks into October, but that's minor in comparison to the real catastrophes-hurricanes, massive flooding, wildfires, and more.

By 2050, emissions of other heat-trapping greenhouse gasses, including methane and black carbon, should be reduced by 35%, relative to the 2010 rate.

"Frankly, the more we are prepared to make changes to behavioural patterns that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the less we would need to rely later on more hard options that we don't yet fully understand like carbon dioxide removal", said Prof Jim Skea.

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