IPCC Special Report: Global Warming of 1.5ºC

Is the world on track to limit global warming? The IPCC Special Report examines the impacts of global warming of 1.5ºC, and the paths we need to travel to get there. In this series, our experts explain the latest climate science and walk us through the implications.

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The prairie pothole region is home to 50% of North America's waterfowl, but a climate threshold exists where they might not survive a 2°C warming. Photo: USFWS

Half a Degree of Warming Could be the Difference Between Survival and Extinction for Many Species

, deputy director, Climate & Energy Program

As a conservationist who has been ringing the alarm bells on climate change threats to biodiversity for more than 25 years, I hardly know where to start in responding to the findings of the newest, and most alarming, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on the impacts of a 1.5°Celsius global warming.  I’m not surprised that the IPPC delivers more bad news after reviewing more than 6,000 recent scientific reports, but I am surprised by just how bad the news is.

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Credit: USFWS
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The IPCC Gets Real about the 1.5°C Target

, director of science & policy

As a climate scientist and former IPCC lead author, this is by far the most sobering and urgent IPCC report I have read. Read more >

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View of Denali. Credit: NPS Photo / Ken Conger

Pathways to 1.5C: Carbon Budget in the IPCC Special Report

, senior climate scientist

The historic Paris Climate Agreement generated a request of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to prepare a Special Report on 1.5 degrees Celsius increase above pre-industrial temperatures. Scientists and government representatives are in the final stretch assessing that every word of the summary for policymakers (SPM) accurately conveys evidence presented in the report.  Policymakers, business leaders, and energy system planners will be paying close attention to what the SPM says about the carbon budget remaining to stay below 1.5 degrees Celsius.

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IPCC AR5 WG1 Technical Summary
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As the IPCC report will make clear, when it comes to climate change, we are all in the same boat. Photo taken by the author at COP23 in Bonn, Germany last November

Will the IPCC 1.5 Degrees Special Report Help Drive Greater Climate Ambition?

, director of strategy & policy

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will soon release its special report on the impacts of both a 1.5 and 2 degrees Celsius increase in global average temperatures above pre-industrial levels, and on the actions that would be needed to avoid exceeding those temperature limitation goals. The special report will make these dangers abundantly clear; there are substantial differences between temperature increases of 1.5 and 2⁰C when it comes to extreme precipitation and extreme heat. The report will also inform the actions of states, provinces, cities, businesses, and other subnational actors as they develop or strengthen their own emissions limitation commitments.  More on that below. Read more >

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Photo: Flickr / Irene / Creative Commons license CC-BY-NC 2.0

Heat Extremes at 1.5°C and 2°C Warming

, senior climate scientist

A key feature of the new IPCC report is its look into how climate change impacts are likely to be different at 1.5°C and 2°C warming above pre-industrial levels. A comparative look at heat extremes at these two warming levels is among the topics covered. The implications of these kind of projected changes – from adverse effects on our health and safety, to creating pre-conditions for large wildfires – are not difficult to envision after the devastating heat waves of 2018.

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Photo: Flickr / Irene / Creative Commons license CC-BY-NC 2.0
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