Brutal heatwaves and submerged cities: what a 3C world would look like | Climate crisis

Global heating is likely to soar past internationally agreed limits, according to a Guardian survey of hundreds of leading climate experts, bringing catastrophic heatwaves, floods and storms.

Only 6% of the respondents thought the 1.5C limit could be achieved, and this would require extraordinarily fast, radical action to halt and reverse the world’s rising emissions from fossil fuel burning.

However, the experts were clear that giving up was not an option, and that 1.5C was not a cliff-edge leading to a significant change in climate damage. Instead, the climate crisis increases incrementally, meaning every tonne of CO2 avoided reduces people’s suffering.

“Climate change will not suddenly become dangerous at 1.5C – it already is – and it will not be ‘game over’ if we pass 2C, which we might well do,” said Prof Peter Cox, of the University of Exeter, in the UK.

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Dr Henri Waisman, at the IDDRI policy research institute in France, said: “Climate change is not a black or white question and every tenth of a degree matters a lot, especially when you look at the socioeconomic impacts. This means it is still useful to continue the fight.”

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