DAMNING new research on climate change suggests that global warming will exceed 1.5 degrees celsius by 2030, and 2 degrees celsius by 2050, unless serious global intervention takes place.

A report published by Oxford Open Climate Change condemned the current geopolitical response to the climate crisis and said politicians on all sides of the political spectrum were complicit in furthering global warming.

Those behind the report say “a political party that takes no money from special interests” such as fossil fuel companies is essential for the climate crisis to be addressed.

Call to action

The report calls for three specific actions to be taken to reverse the catastrophic increase in temperature.

First, underlying economic incentives must be available globally to “promote clean energy and discourage CO2 emissions”.

This includes a rising price on greenhouse gas emissions, and more effective long-term planning around decarbonisation and transitioning to renewable energy.

The report also urges “global cooperation” between the West and East, warning that without this cooperation, developing nations will be the main source of future greenhouse gas emissions.

Finally, the report states action must be taken to reduce and reverse Earth’s energy imbalance.

Earth’s climate is determined by a balance between how much of the Sun’s energy is absorbed in the atmosphere and on the planet’s surface, and how much thermal infrared radiation Earth emits to space.

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A positive energy imbalance – which Earth has – means Earth is gaining energy, causing the planet to heat up.

According to scientists and organisations such as the United Nations (UN), if Earth’s temperature increases by 1.5 degrees celsius this will lead to irreversible changes in the planet’s climate.

In a resource on the impact of climate change, the UN states: “If global warming exceeds 1.5 degrees celsius above pre-industrial levels, there will be more heat waves, longer warm seasons and shorter cold seasons.

“At 2 degrees celsius of global warming, extreme heat would more often cross critical tolerance thresholds with devastating imacts on agriculture and human health.”

According to an ongoing temperarature analysis led by scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), the average global temperature on Earth has increased by at least 1.1 degrees celsius since 1880.

Future generations

The new report on climate change calls on young people to “shape the future of the nation and the planet”.

The report states: “Current political crises present an opportunity for reset, especially if young people can grasp their situation.

“Opportunities for progress often occur in conjunction with crisis.

“Today, the world faces a crisis – political polarisation, particularly in the United States – that threatens effective governance.

“Yet the crisis offers an opportunity for young people to help shape the future of the nation and the planet.”