U.N.: Time Is Running Out for Climate Change Action

TIME

A worldwide push over the next 15 years is the only way to avoid the disastrous effects of climate change, experts appointed by the United Nations said Sunday.

A report released Sunday by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change showed that it is still possible to contain the worst effects of climate change, but governments must take extensive measures to reduce carbon emissions, the New York Timesreports.

Global greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced by 40 to 70 percent compared with 2010 by mid-century in order to limit global mean temperature rises to two degrees celsius, or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit, above preindustrial levels. Exceeding 3.6-degree-Fahrenheit temperature rises will cause drastic effects, including the collapse of ice sheets, mass plant and animal extinction, food shortages, flooding, and extreme weather events, scientists say.

The report also warned that widespread inaction is already leading to far-reaching consequences — emissions grew more…

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