If steps aren’t taken soon to combat
climate change, there may be no tomorrow
This editorial was written by The Washington Post.
If anything, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has a
habit of understatement. The U.N. group issues reports so thoroughly scrubbed
that they seem cautious in the moment and downright timid in retrospect.
That gives their latest and most dire warning added force.global leaders that the oft-cited
goal of keeping warming below 2 degrees Celsius is riskier than many imagine.
A 1.5-degree goal would be far less dangerous, but the world has only about a decade
to make the “rapid and far-reaching” changes required to meet that goal.
The difference between 1.5 degrees and 2 degrees would be substantial. Coral reefs would
go from mostly gone to almost entirely gone. More sea-level rise would put up to
10 million more people in danger. High heat would kill more people. It would be much
hotter on land and in cities. Deadly mosquito-borne illnesses
such as malaria and dengue fever would spread farther. Droughts would be more likely.
So would deluges. Tropical fisheries would empty further. Staple crop yields, particularly i
n some of the world’s poorest nations, would decline more.
Disastrous loss of the Antarctic ice sheet would be more likely.