Coral reef extinction: the global temperature rise warning

Coral reef extinction: the global temperature rise warning
©iStock/Colin_Davis

The IPCC climate change report has warned that the global temperature rise is now heading towards 2 Degrees Celsius, which may cause coral reef extinction, a high risk of flooding, and extreme weather conditions.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) climate change report has identified coral reef extinction, boiling hot temperatures for citizens and a massive rise in global sea levels as some of the effects resulting from the likely global temperature rise to 2 Degrees Celsius. The IPCC climate change report has warned that deep rapid change is now needed to prevent further warming, as the world is completely off-target for staying below 1.5 Degrees Celsius and is likely to reach 2 Degrees Celsius.

The IPCC climate change report said: ‘Human activities are estimated to have caused approximately 1.0°C of global warming above pre-industrial levels, with a likely range of 0.8°C to 1.2°C. Global warming is likely to reach 1.5°C between 2030 and 2052 if it continues to increase at the current rate.’

Coral reef extinction

The IPCC Climate Change report adds: ‘The risk of irreversible loss of many marine and coastal ecosystems increases with global warming, especially at 2°C or more.’ It is likely that we would face coral reef extinction, impacting a large number of marine species. The threat of coral reef extinction is just one of the impacts outlined in the IPCC climate change report. The global temperature rise is also likely to cause human devastation if it continues at the current rate due to rising sea levels threatening coastlines, and an increase to boiling temperatures.

Can we still limit the global temperature rise?

The IPCC climate change report has identified ways that the global temperature rise can still be limited to attempt to reduce the high risk of coral reef extinction and other effects. However, in order to stay below the 1.5C global temperature rise we would have to implement urgent, large-scale changes across world governments and individuals including an investment of approximately 2.5% of global GDP for two decades. The global carbon dioxide emissions will need to decline by 45% from the 2010 levels by 2030.

The massive cost of implementing changes to limit the global temperature rise is still estimated to be cheaper than the potential carbon dioxide removal which would be required if the global temperature rise continues at its current rate, and acting now could reduce the devastating effects of coral reef extinction, extreme weather, and flooding.

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