Monday, 16 Jul 2018

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2C cap won't save Arctic sea ice: Studies

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Health Desk: 04 April 2018: Even if humanity stops global warming in its tracks at two degrees Celsius, long seen as the guardrail for a climate-safe world, Arctic sea ice will still disappear in some years, scientists have warned.

Holding the line at 1.5 C (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit), however, would make a huge difference, according to two separate studies published Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change.

In a 2C (3.6F) world, the Arctic Ocean would be ice-free roughly one-in-four years, whereas if warming does not exceed 1.5C, the odds drop to one-in-40, the researchers concluded.

The 197-nation Paris climate pact enjoins the world to halt warming at "well under" 2C above mid-19th-century levels, and "pursue efforts" to cap the rise at 1.5C.

With one degree of warming so far, Earth has already seen a crescendo of droughts, heatwaves, and storms ramped up by rising seas.

After remaining flat for three years, global CO2 emissions in 2017 went up by 1.4 percent, dashing hopes that they had peaked, the International Energy Agency (IEA) reported last week.

Voluntary national pledges made under the Paris pact to cut CO2 emissions, if fulfilled, would yield a 3C world at best.

That would transform the Arctic, which has thus far warmed at double the rate of the world as a whole.