The 2018 UN IPCC Report (SR15)

You might have heard that we have “12 years to solve climate change.”  That number comes from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.  The panel is composed of scientists from different countries (most of whom are volunteers).  In this report, scientists were asked to model the difference between 1.5° and 2° of warming.  They found that conditions at 2° of warming would be much worse.  Christopher Joyce, one of the authors of the report, suggests that “limiting warming to 1.5 degrees is possible within the laws of chemistry and physics.  But doing so would require unprecedented changes” throughout society.  The 12-year estimate is based on the report’s finding that we must halve emissions in 12 years (and get to net-zero by 2040) if we want to keep warming at 1.5°.  But cutting emissions that fast will require radical changes to our infrastructure, transportation and agricultural systems so we must start planning and building TODAY.

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To read more about the October 2018 IPCC Special Report 15  visit the IPCC website or download this summary for teachers.