20 September, 2019

The human imperative of stabilising global climate change at 1.5°C


O. Hoegh-Guldberg, D. Jacob, M. Taylor, T. Guillén Bolaños, M. Bindi, S. Brown, I. A. Camilloni, A. Diedhiou, R. Djalante, K. Ebi, F. Engelbrecht, J. Guiot, Y. Hijioka, S. Mehrotra, C. W. Hope, A. J. Payne, H.-O. Pörtner, S. I. Seneviratne, Adelle Thomas, R. Warren, G. Zhou

Reef-building corals can bleach and die, a nonlinear response to impacts/risks from climate change.

The need to stabilise global climate

Climate change will be the greatest threat to humanity and global ecosystems in the coming years, and there is a pressing need to understand and communicate the impacts of warming, across the perspectives of the natural and social sciences.

Hoegh-Guldberg et al. review the climate change–impact literature, expanding on the recent report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

They provide evidence of the impacts of warming at 1°, 1.5°, and 2°C—and higher—for the physical system, ecosystems, agriculture, and human livelihoods.

The benefits of limiting climate change to no more than 1.5°C above preindustrial levels would outweigh the costs.