In the first global analysis of the size and likelihood of climate impacts given different policy scenarios, researchers have identified how aggressive climate action can dramatically reduce and delay dangerous threats. Global climate impacts can be reduced by 20-65% by 2100 if emissions peak and begin declining in 2016.
The benefits of action to quickly reduce greenhouse gas emissions are likely to be robust. For example, the global productivity of spring wheat could drop by 20% by the 2050s, but the fall in yield could be delayed until 2100 if strict emissions curbs were enforced. Additionally, global average sea level rise could be reduced to 30cm (12 inches) by 2100, compared to 47-55cm (18-22 inches) if no action to cut emissions is taken.
“This research helps us quantify the benefits of limiting temperature rise to 2 degrees C and underlines why it’s vital we stick with the U.N. climate change negotiations and secure a global legally binding deal by 2015,” said Edward Davey, Britain’s Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change.
One of the most important factors in effective climate action will be the date and level at which global emissions peak. To mitigate the worst climate impacts, emissions need to peak as early as possible at a relatively low level. The analysis found that in the most stringent emissions reductions scenario they considered, in which emissions would peak in 2016 and decline 5% in each following year, global impacts could be reduced by 20-65% by 2100 in comparison to business as usual.
Read More: Reuters>>
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