HE GIST of Editorial for UPSC Exams : 10 November 2018 (Another warning on warming)

Another warning on warming

Mains Paper 3: Environment
Prelims level: 1.5°C Challenge
Mains level: Climate Change and related issue


  •  The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has released a special report on global warming of 1.5°C over pre-industrial temperatures.
  •  It provides details on how the global response to climate change needs to be improved within the larger aim of sustainable development and eradicate poverty.
  •  In 2015, at the Paris climate conference, global community agreed to make efforts to limit warming within 1.5°C.
  •  Increase in extreme events and threat to survival of small islands at stake, the lower limit was agreed with enthusiasm.

The IPCC report gives two main strategies.

  •  Stabilize global temperature around the 1.5°C mark.
  •  Permit temperatures to exceed 1.5°C temporarily before coming back down.
  •  The consequences of the temporary overshoot would cause worse impacts than the first approach.

1.5°C Challenge

  •  To limit warming to around 1.5°C, Global net carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions need to decline by about 45% from 2010 levels by 2030 and reach net zero around mid-century.
  •  In comparison, to limit warming to just below 2°C, the reductions needed are about 20% by 2030 and reach net zero around 2075.
  •  Different regions of the earth will warm at different rates.
  •  The Arctic is already experiencing warming that is many times higher than the global average.
  •  Estimate show that sea levels will rise average by about 50 cm by 2100 in a 2°C warmer world, 10 cm more than for 1.5°C warming.
  •  The danger of crossing thresholds beyond which the earth will no longer be able to stabilize is real.
  •  The remaining carbon budget, space available in the atmosphere to safely emit more CO2, needs to be shared among nations.
  •  This is a challenge as the U.S. is determined to pull out of the Paris Agreement.
  •  Contributions from the U.S. and other rich countries to the Green Climate Fund and other funding mechanisms for mitigation and adaptation are crucial.

Way forward

  •  They are essential even to reach the goals of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).
  •  NDCs are commitments that each country made prior to the Paris conference.
  •  Even if all the NDCs are implemented, the world is expected to warm by over 3°C.
  •  Disputes over the implementation of the Paris Agreement show a divide in rich countries, emerging economies and least developed countries.
  •  The way ahead has no simple or easy solutions.

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General Studies Pre. Cum Mains Study Materials

Prelims Questions:

Q.1) Consider the following statements regarding the recently published IPCC report.
1. The report has stressed the importance of restricting the global average temperature rise to 1.5 C.
2. According to the report, India will be unaffected by the Temperature rise.
Select the correct code.
A. 1 only
B. 2 only
C. Both 1 and 2
D. Neither 1 nor 2
Answer: A

Mains Questions:
Q.1) Why 1.5 degree challenge is so important for India too?