It's intended as a guide for policymakers who are aiming to limit temperature rise to the target 1.5 degrees Celsius.
But meeting the more ambitious goal of slightly less warming would require immediate, draconian cuts in emissions of heat-trapping gases and dramatic changes in the energy field.
In short, the scientists say the world has only a dozen years to tackle climate change to avoid some of its most devastating effects.
However, limiting global warming global warming to 1.5 C would require "rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society".
Is It A Big Deal?
While warming of 2C above pre-industrial levels has widely been thought of as the threshold beyond which unsafe climate change will occur, vulnerable countries such as low-lying island states warn rises above 1.5C will threaten their survival.
The United NationsParis climate agreement, signed in 2015, commits more than 190 countries to keep temperatures "well below" 2°C while "pursuing efforts" to stop global warming at 1.5°C. 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.
"Limiting warming to 1.5ºC is possible within the laws of chemistry and physics but doing so would require unprecedented changes", says Jim Skea, co-chair of IPCC Working Group III, which worked on the report. The longer we wait to act, the IPCC report says, the more we'll have to use this type of technology, which has never been proven at a large scale.
Two of the most intense typhoons on record have hit the city in the last two years - Hato last year and Mangkhut last month.
How Can Cuts Be Achieved?
The Report mentions that the global net anthropogenic Carbon dioxide emissions must decline by about 45 per cent from 2010 levels by 2030 and net-zero emission should be achieved by 2050.
If emissions can't be cut to a sufficient degree, researchers will need to devise effective methods of removing Carbon dioxide from the air, such as devoting land to growing trees and biofuel crops, Erik Solheim, executive director of the UN Environment Program, tellsThe Washington Post.
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Emissions cuts in transport, buildings, industry, power generation and dietary habits such as eating meat will need to take place in a bid to speed up temperature limits. Plants, insects, animals, and marine life will all be pushed farther out of current geographic ranges with 2 degrees of warming.
Former Vice President Al Gore Jr. warned that "time is running out" after the release of a United Nations special report Sunday giving the world 12 years to head off climate calamity by radically transforming "all aspects of society". The Caribbean islands are like dots in a body of water whose levels continue to rise and waters continue to warm, creating flawless conditions for hostile weather that could possibly wipe out the Caribbean, relegating it to a memory parents talk to their children about.
"There were doubts if we would be able to differentiate impacts set at 1.5C and that came so clearly".
RealClimateScience.com's Tony Heller ticked off past failed predictions of global-warming disaster, such as a 1989 U.N. warning that "entire nations could be wiped from the face of the earth" by rising seas unless global warming was reversed by 2000.
Coral reefs will also be drastically affected, with between 70 and 90 per cent expected to die off, including Australia's Great Barrier Reef.
Four scenarios are modeled in the report that reflect different strategies governments could take to deliver "no or low overshoot" of the 1.5°C target.
Hare noted: "The advantages of early action are made stark in this report - especially regarding the sustainable development benefits, around poverty alleviation, health and access to clean energy". Still, action so far has been haltingly slow.
"The good news is that some of the kinds of actions that would be needed to limit global warming to 1.5 °C are already underway around the world, but they would need to accelerate", said Valerie Masson-Delmotte, Co-Chair of Working Group I. We can't find any historical analogies for it.
"We need to extend this kind of progress on renewables to other areas".
The seemingly small change in temperature even impacts the global GDP lost to flood damages - it goes up from an 8 per cent loss to a 13 per cent loss.
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