For some time it has seemed unlikely that the world community would actually be able to limit global warming to just +1.5 degrees Celsius as outlined in the Paris climate accord, but the United Nations also no longer thinks so.
We're going to need a new agreement or target because UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a new report that says an increase of +1.5 degrees is already locked in for the current decade.
“Our report shows that we need to be prepared for going into that level of warming in the coming decades. But we can avoid further levels of warming by acting on greenhouse gas emissions,” said report co-chair Valerie Masson-Delmotte, a climate scientist at France’s Laboratory of Climate and Environment Sciences at the University of Paris-Saclay. [...]
“This report tells us that recent changes in the climate are widespread, rapid and intensifying, unprecedented in thousands of years,” said IPCC Vice Chair Ko Barrett, senior climate adviser for the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The new report says we can avoid further warming by taking action now, but there's also a greater emphasis on adaptation and preparing for the consequences of what we've already done to ourselves.
Generally speaking, I'm not a pessimist, but on this particular topic it's difficult not to be. I don't think we'll do enough in a timeframe that matters. I think the world is going to change quicker than imaginations in the scientific community allow for, and I feel fortunate to live at a relatively high latitude in the Great Lakes region.