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Now he’s 23 one of the best-selling pop artist in the world. Trace of on drops by for a rare conversation about how his life turned out that’s coming up on cue for PRI Public Radio International .
That’s tonight after the Capitol press.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its report commissioned by the UN last week in a nutshell , the experts say that we need an all hands on deck process to limit global warming to less than 1.5° Celsius or 2.7° Fahrenheit increased from pre-industrial levels. All right , so what does that mean . Well , it means if we do absolutely nothing more than meet our goals under the Paris climate accord . We’re going to reach 3° Celsius increase in warming by the end of the century . What would 3° increase look like it’ll look like the Pliocene era of 3 million years ago when sea levels were 25m higher than they are now . So what will not be here Lower Manhattan will completely be underwater . So what would help us meet our goal of only a 1.5° Celsius rise in temperature . What this panel has said is slashing global greenhouse gas emissions by 45% below 2010 levels by 20:30 . All right , so his a possible . Well , today we’re going to discuss this with 2 guests . One of them is one of the authors of the climate report . Dr. Natalie Walt is the Irving Porter church Professor of Engineering Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Cornell University’s college of agriculture and life sciences in college engineering and she did , she was the of a few of the chapters of the climate report Dr. how Walt Natalie welcome . How are you .
I’m well , thank you for having me.
We’re also joined by Dr. Matisse Hui , who is a climate scientist and professor in the Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences at the University at Albany Dr. over we welcome. How are you .
I’m great , thank you. The pleasure to be here .
So some of the listener is Natalie to this show live in landlocked areas of upstate New York where flooding almost never happens , they might live on a mountain. Why should those people care if temperatures keep rising .
Well , one of the interesting things about this report is one of their questions. Well , what happens with just a half degree change in temperature . And even with such a small increment , it really doesn’t sound like very much . We can see in the statistics . And in many parts of the globe , including in New York . We can see changes in extreme precipitation or extreme heat events so even here in New York . Even if you’re on that high areas you you’re going to see a change in things like how often it’s hot or how often we have very heavy precipitation and how long we don’t have precipitation for so climate change is not just limited to people who are down at sea level down in New York City , but will be filling in across New York .
Natalie don’t we have a , we live in a global economy. Now , I mean , you know , when I go to the local Hanford and I buy bananas . Those aren’t grown in upstate New York . They come from someplace else . So we are going to see big changes in what’s available to us and what kind of services we can expect to have .
Oh , we’re going to see profound changes globally as well. I guess I , one of the ways that I view the problem is really that you know . 50 years ago , we had a completely different a society in terms of the connectedness in terms of our technologies are energy . Then we have today and in 50 years . Everything is going to be different , but in the next 50 years , we’re going to have to be thinking about climate change and pretty much everything we do . So either , we’re going to mitigate very strongly and stop emitting carbon dioxide and or we’re going to have to adapt to have a very different climate in 50 years so I I think climate change is going to be one of many questions that we’re really going to have to focus on in the next 50 years .
So Matias you you’ve described this as a global problem that we’re gonna feel locally. How do you think so .
Well , I would just , you know , second what Natalie already mentioned is is that our planet is so interconnected and if you live high up in the region in New York state. You may think that you know the affected by flooding or sea level rise but even just within New York State degree of damages to climate change be damage to agriculture to infrastructure . We are going to have to pay for it and in the end we are all paying for it through our taxes so you’ll feel it in your , in your pocketbook .
New York. The owner of New York City is currently the financial engine of New York state and if it’s under water that could certainly means something for our pocketbooks .
Oh , absolutely not. No question about it but it even goes beyond New York State they think if we think about some parts of the world that are much more vulnerable than we are say small island nations or nations where most of the inhabitants live on the flood plains are dealt does such as Bangladesh . They are going to be in a situation where eventually they cannot adapt their way out of that situation and Italy will lead to environmental refugees , many people will lose , said Orlando has to go somewhere , and again this will affect us whether we like it or not .
So we already have refugees Natalie and how many refugees could we possibly see.
Well it it depends what temperature it level we go for , I mean one of the things that I like to emphasize is that , you know , a lot. I know for this report . We were asked by the governments to look at 1.5 versus 2.0 oh and we can tell the difference between those you know temperatures that sound very similar does the lower the temperature . We go for the last M tax so it won’t have so really depends on where you know how much global warming we have how many people are impacted . It also depends on how much people moved to the coast . This is a trend right now that more and more people are moving to the coast , and so that also affects how many people are impacted by sea level rise associated with climate change . But , but we’re talking about in the millions . Usually it’s it’s whether it’s the hundreds of millions , or not . That’s what we’re making decisions about .
All right , so , so what I read is that we do have the tools to address this issue , but it would be all hands on deck. What does that mean Natalie .
Well reaching heard limiting global warming to something like 1.5°. It is still theoretically possible . We’re only at 1° warming right now which weren’t I know out of 1.5 means we we’ve come pretty far but we we could theoretically stop the warming before its 1.5 . But it’s going to be extremely hard and we have to do everything . As you say , to limit the warming to 1.5 and I would say that we just want to keep the warming as low as we possibly can . That if we miss the 1.5 targeted at a 2-point I would target we shouldn’t give up that that’s a really important point but there are transitions that will have to do in every part of our life , like I said when when we think about what the world is going to be like in 50 years . We really need . We really will be thinking about climate change and almost all the decisions we make and we need to transition our energy from dirty energy sources to clean energy sources and you know . Luckily when and solar are getting cheaper . So this can be economically something we want to do anyway . We also need to move our agriculture to be much more sustainable and we may well have to develop new technologies for removing the carbon from the atmosphere and that’s not something we have to do right away , but that will certainly help us reach lower temperature target .
But as you have said that this is a slow climate change is a slow-moving trip a freight train that there are time lags here and if we put plans into place today. They may not have an impact for you know 50 years . So we basically have to think ahead for our kids and our grandkids .
And I think that sometimes a little bit of an underappreciated issue , but we have multiple time lag that we’re facing provide only have political activity this in the in the political system. How flow it’s going and how slowly been moving forward towards implementing new legislation on climate change , we have technological acts like Natalie mentioned , we have to invest heavily in renewables , but even if we wanted to , we have not scaled up to renewables . To the extent that we could just switch off after all our coal-fired power plants . Tomorrow , so it will take time to transition into an EU economy where we produce energy using renewables and finally there are important blacks in in the climate system and what that means is that we cannot , at some point when it gets really bad decide . Okay . Whereas I .