Keep 1.5 ºC Alive! Maintain alive the goal of limiting 1.5 ° C the increase in global temperature on the planet at the end of the century (referring to at the beginning of the industrial age) is the objective with which the British government faces the climate summit From Glasgow that began on Sunday and what is host.
For two weeks, representatives of some 200 countries will be immersed in complex negotiations in which various aspects of the fight against climate change that could be synthesized in a mission: agree to comply with what they signed in the Paris Agreement of 2015.
A drastic and immediate reduction of greenhouse gas emissions is the key to limit the increase in temperature below 2 ° C. The international community committed itself in the French capital to try not to rise more than 1.5 ° C, the maximum defined by scientists as the less risky scenario for the future of humanity. "We are already around 1.1 ° C. and in any of the emission scenarios we would reach 1.5 º before 2040," said José Manuel Gutiérrez, director of the Cantabria Institute of Physics (IFCA / CSIC) and coordinator From one of the chapters of the Sixth Evaluation Report published in August by the IPCC, the Climate Changing Expert Group linked to the UN.
We are already around 1.1 ºC of increase. And in any of the emissions scenarios we would reach 1.5 º before 2040
And is that in these six years that have elapsed from Paris, several reports - two of them in recent days - have revealed that the acquired commitments will not be sufficient to achieve the goal of 1.5 ° C. Even with the 119 updated national climate plans, emissions are expected to increase by 16% by 2030, which would place us on the path of 2.7 ° C of warming by the end of the century, according to the report on emission gap that The UN published on Tuesday. If the countries comply with the long-term strandablla with what they have proposed, it could be limited at 2.2 ° C but for that it would have to be spanned in the short term and get significant cuts in the next decade, which seems unrealistic seeing their national plans .
And, according to the UN, to achieve the goal of 1.5 ° C, the world needs to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions in the next eight years. For its part, the International Energy Agency aims in another report that with the promises on the table, the overall average temperature will rise 2.6 ° C in 2100.
The success of COP26 will depend on the concrete progress that is achieved in four chapters: adaptation, mitigation, financing and cooperation
As the United Kingdom Ambassador said in Spain, Hugh Elliot, during a recent meeting with journalists in Madrid, the success of COP26 "will depend on the concrete progress that is achieved in four chapters: adaptation, mitigation, financing and cooperation".
Match Valvanera Uregui, Director of the Spanish Office of Climate Change: "The first gap that must be closed, because reality is tozuda and shows us that we are not on the right track, it is the gap of ambition in terms of mitigation, adaptation and funding. Close the gap of 1.5 ºC means more reduction of emissions and more solidarity with the most vulnerable countries, "he said during another meeting with journalists this week.
"The greatest expectation at COP 26 and which governs the rest of the decisions and our position of negotiations is to maintain the goal of 1.5 ºC. We have to leave it knowing that we comply with it. It is important to ensure safety Of our citizens and also that of the citizens of the most vulnerable countries, "Ulgui remarked.
Close the gap of 1.5 ºC means more reduction of emissions and more solidarity with the most vulnerable countries
How concrete will affect the safety of citizens? José Manuel Gutiérrez puts three examples of the difference that will be in the Mediterranean that the world limits its heating at 1.5 ºC or is left at the doors of 3 ° C.
"With a global increase of 1.5º at the end of the century, the average temperature in the Mediterranean (Spain, Italy, Greece and North Africa) will rise 2.3 ºC in summer, while if it rises three degrees globally, in Our region The increase would be 4.7 ºC. This will mean that the typical summer day of 45 ºC that is reached in some places of the peninsula will be almost 50 ºC. Because although we talk about heating in global terms, at the regional level To have very remarkable differences, as happens above all with the Arctic and also in the Mediterranean, "he says.
As regards the rains, in a scenario of 1.5 ° C they will fall by 10%, compared to 25% cutting if the world is heated 3 ° C. "There would be dramatic consequences for systems that have already suffer a great stress with current droughts," he says.
"Temperatures and rains are the basic parameters that amplify other variables, for example, have an impact on droughts and the risk of fires intensifies," said José Manuel Gutiérrez.
They know well in Australia, where the scientist of the IPCC Pep Canadell directs the Global Carbon Project and is CSIRO's chief investigation: "In the last six or seven years we have had many new temperature records and in more than a hundred years there was no There was a drought as serious as the 2019, which took us to this season of fires so extensive. People here understand perfectly that what we are seeing we had not seen it before and that is due to climate change, although we have a government. It makes it very difficult to adopt more aggressive policies to combat it, "he says in a telephone interview.
Some of the climatic extremes that we have lived in the last 10 years are almost impossible to explain without attributing a good part of guilt to climate change
Precisely one of the consequences of temperature increase is the Fire Weather or appropriate time so that there are intense forest fires. It is, according to Canadell "one of the effects that" we are seeing that increase of 1.1 ° C we have achieved. Some of the climatic extremes that we have lived in the last 10 years are almost impossible to explain without attributing a good part of guilt to climate change, as the recent flooding in Europe and America, "he says.
Numerous species that live in alpine ecosystems, he adds, they already have problems to survive. "And in the north, where the warming is faster, the Taiga forests are suffering from fires, as it happened before, but now you can not recover or have a hard time doing it because it is too hot."
Another very clear effect for Canadell are the waves of marine heat: "Ten years ago we did not know much about them but they are taking place in the Mediterranean and in many tropical places, where coral reefs are degrading very fast and also great forests of Posidonia and the Kelp forests (algae) in California and Australia, who get 20 meters height and collapse because they live in cold waters and when those heat waves occur can not recover ".
The survival of coral reefs will depend on the ascent of temperature is between 1.5 ° C and 2 ° C: "With 2.7 ºC of increase they could not survive in the areas where they live now, this does not want To say that they could not grow in places where they could not before because the water was very cold. And when we talk about coral reef we talk about all the ecosystem, which is very rich and at the level of biodiversity is comparable to that of tropical forests ", warn. His disappearance, she points out, "will mean a loss of many fishery resources and will affect hundreds of millions of people who depend on these fisheries for their sustenance."
But the implications of a warmer world for humans go far beyond food, as the report The Lancet Countdown has just showed on the health effects of climate change that is co-author Jaime Martínez-Urtaza, researcher from the department of Genetics and microbiology of the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAM) and member of the FAO scientific panels and the World Health Organization (WHO).
Martínez-Urtaza pleads little supporter of long-term projections because it ensures that "climate change is already here, it affects our lives day by day and causes health problems. Do not have to be many years to realize the trend . I am Galician and the temperatures in Galicia are not what they were. The homes were designed for rain and low temperatures and we see how many people are now beginning to consider installing air conditioning, "he says.
Climate change is already here, it affects our lives day by day and causes health problems. Do not have to be many years to realize the trend
A decade ago, when Martínez-Urtaza began working at the European Center for Disease Control and Prevention, in Sweden, the presence of tropical mosquitoes that act as vectors and transmit diseases are already constantly monitored: "Before we only saw cases In travelers returning from other countries, they are now transmitted in Spain because conditions are favorable, "he says.
In addition, each time they have more time: "We usually look at the climb of temperatures but perhaps what has more impact is that the oscillation between the minimum temperature and the maximum has been reduced. The winters are more moderate than before and increase the Period in which these vectors can act, before it was a month and now it's three months, which increases the likelihood of infections. "
This type of consequences can occur at any time, and what we see, adds, is the tip of the iceberg of other processes that may be linked: "The climate is changing continuous and irreversible form, neither nature nor biology is linear or progressive , it goes by Blooms, when a certain temperature is reached, you have a population explosion and suddenly you have many more mosquitoes, "he says.
However, it considers that "the alarmism does not work when it comes to awareness of society. And a pending thing, besides knowing who is going to assume the great economic cost that is going to have, is how we are going to educate future generations to Live differently because the only thing we have of clear is that we can not continue living as we lived. It will have to make very profound changes and you have to discuss how we are going to take them out, "he reflects. "It's something tremendously difficult, much more than a political meeting or assemble a ministry because it will affect everything."Updated Date: 02 November 2021, 01:00