2018-10-24

Global Warming of 1.5°C, an IPCC special report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways, in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty

44519460_2151550924897512_776482657792950272_n The IPCC "1.5 °C" report's full title is Global Warming of 1.5°C, an IPCC special report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways, in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty. I'm not making this up; their press release says so. Wisely, RC doesn't tell you the full title, because unless you're a bureaucrat, you can immeadiately tell that for something to end up with a title like that, something must have gone badly wrong.

One of the things that is going wrong is that people are misinterpreting it. For example, the wiki article says in the lede Its broad findings are reported as being that drastic action must be taken in limited time to avoid severe and worsening consequences. But the report doesn't actually recommend any action at all, still less use the word drastic. The press release does it's best to hide this, saying:
Limiting global warming to 1.5ºC would require rapid, far reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society, the IPCC said in a new assessment. With clear benefits to people and natural ecosystems, limiting global warming to 1.5ºC compared to 2ºC could go hand in hand with ensuring a more sustainable and equitable society, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said on Monday.
But as the background saysthe Conference of Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) at its 21st Session in Paris, France (30 November to 11 December 2015), invited the IPCC to provide a special report in 2018 on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways (my bold). And so that's primarily what it is: a report on the impacts.

Refs


* Having finally done what I'd promised not to do, i.e. write this post, I guess I should link to James' version.
* WHEN BUTTERFLIES START HURRICANES BE VERY AFRAID OF BATS
Eli sat in on an interesting conversation last week at the Brookings Institution involving Chris Crane the Excelon CEO.
Climate science identifies the problem – it can’t tell us what to do in response? - me in 2015.
* Don't miss: (Move log); 23:10:54 . . Brandt Luke Zorn (talk | contribs) moved page Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 ºC to Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 °C over redirect ‎(as pointed out on talk page, the page title incorrectly used an ordinal indicator (º) instead of the degree symbol (°)).

4 comments:

PaulS said...

I agree there are a lot of misinterpretations, but the report is definitely not simply about impacts. There's a whole chapter on mitigation pathways for achieving a 1.5ºC limit and another one on implementation of emissions reduction responses.

Interestingly, "both sides" are making the same misinterpretation for their own reasons. Pro-action peeps are talking about the IPCC "calling for" drastic action as evidence of scientific support for major emissions cuts. Anti-action peeps are talking about the IPCC "calling for" drastic action as evidence of a cabal of scientists trying to overturn capitalism and implement a new world order.

The reality is that the IPCC haven't called for anything. They were asked to provided a report on what it would take to achieve 1.5ºC and they've come back and said what everyone already knew: it would take a lot.

Of course, it's not really BSAB (Both Sides Are Bad). The former are a hell of a lot closer to the truth than the latter.

The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse said...

"
...unless you're a bureaucrat, you can immeadiately tell that for something to end up with a title like that, something must have gone badly wrong.
"

If the title had been any less literal, then people would complain that the bureaucrats had used poetic license with extreme prejudice.*


"
One of the things that is going wrong is that people are misinterpreting it.
"

And in other news: the sky is blue.


*The ambiguous prepositional modifier is intentional.

dave said...

Press release saying "full title" is a bit misleading, which may be common for press releases. Look at the front of the thing at http://www.ipcc.ch/report/sr15/ – it's clear that the big bold title is "Global Warming of 1.5 ºC", and all the rest is small print by the sub-editor. http://report.ipcc.ch/sr15/pdf/sr15_spm_final.pdf is similar, all "Subject to correction, copy-editing and layout ".
As bad as the subheads in newspapers.

A little like On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life, which has a small "On", big bold "the Origin of Species", smaller text to the comma, then even smaller text.
Think we used to laugh at the Victorians for their wordy titles.

William Connolley said...

Will we see shorter, more focused IPCC reports from now on? The short answer is no refers :-)