Expert commentary on IPCC Special Report on 1.5C Global Warming

Professor Mark Howden
8 October 2018

Professor Mark Howden from the Australian National University's Climate Change Institute is a Review Editor on the latest Special Report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released today. He is also a Vice-Chair of the IPCC.

Professor Howden said the report showed at current rates of temperature increases, the world will likely reach 1.5oC  global warming by around 2040.

"At this point, there are very few practical pathways left that can keep warming to below 1.5oC  ," Professor Howden said. 

"But one of the key messages from this special report is the longer we leave taking action, the faster we'll have to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the more it will cost including through unwanted impacts of climate change."

For the first time, the IPCC Special Report compares the risks presented by scenarios of 1.5oC  warming with 2oC warming, showing extreme weather events, heat-related morbidity and food shortages will be substantially worse at 1.5oC   than 2oC.

"It is possible to limit warming to 1.5oC, but it will be profoundly challenging and action taken in the next few years will be crucial."

"There are lots of synergies between reducing emissions, adapting to climate changes and with broader sustainable development"

You can find further commentary by Professor Howden in the following media articles / programs:

IPCC issues dire climate warning, says coal must go to save Great Barrier Reef, ABC News, Nick Kilvert & Michael Slezak - read article

IPCC report sounds fresh alert - ABC Radio Drive - listen to 11 minute interview with Patricia Karvelas

'We're not on track': Major climate change report pushes for 1.5C cap - SBS - read article

Great Barrier Reef at risk until coal phased out:  UN Report - Sky News - watch brief interview

'Next decade critical': Perils mount at 1.5 degrees of warming, says IPCC, Peter Hannan and Nicole Hasham, Sydney Morning Herald - read article

Great Barrier Reef faces dire threat with 2C global warming, UN report says, Guardian Australia - read article

New UN report outlines ‘urgent, transformational’ change needed to hold global warming to 1.5°C, Prof Mark Howden, Dr Bec Colvin & Lamis Kazak, The Conversation - read article

Nightlife featuring Climate Change - Avoiding catastrophic climate change, Interview with Philip Clark, ABC Radio - listen to 50 minute discussion

The UN's 1.5C special climate report at a glance - The Conversation - read infographic and article

New IPCC warnings over climate change - urgent action required - 2SER - listen to 2 min interview

Why you should care about half a degree of global warming - ABC Triple J Hack - read article

Intergovernmental panel on climate change releases special report on global warming - Herald Sun - read article

The Wire - listen to 4 minute audio interview