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  • If the temperature outside changes by half a degree,

  • you won't even feel it.

  • Such a small change is almost imperceptible to human senses.

  • But half a degree of global temperature change could be

  • little short of the end of the world we recognise.

  • Or at least the world humanity has inhabited for the last few millennia.

  • In 2015, governments agreed a deal in Paris to stop global warming

  • rising past 2 degrees and to try to keep it below 1.5 degrees.

  • So what's in half a degree?

  • At 1.5 degrees, there would still be some

  • precious rainforests, polar bears and coral reefs on planet Earth,

  • albeit seriously diminished.

  • Sea levels would rise, but relatively slowly,

  • so major cities like London, Jakarta and Mumbai have a better chance of

  • continuing life as normal.

  • Drought and flooding would be at a level where food production

  • can keep up with population growth.

  • Millions of extra climate refugees could stay at home

  • and others could avoid starvation.

  • Getting to this world isn't impossible, it means cutting

  • greenhouse gas emissions by half within a decade

  • And then being carbon neutral by mid-century.

  • So we'd be closing coal power stations instead of

  • building new ones

  • and every car would be electric.

  • We'd be restoring forests instead of cutting them down,

  • and even aircraft would be carbon neutral.

  • It's not impossible, but it is unlikely.

  • The fossil fuels lobby is powerful.

  • Some heads of state even deny the reality of climate change.

  • Transforming the global energy system will take time,

  • and trillions of dollars of investment.

  • But it's also an opportunity.

  • So if we're too slow and instead of 1.5, we get the extra

  • half degree - what then?

  • According to the latest IPCC report,

  • in a world two degrees warmer, you'd go diving in the tropical seas

  • but the flourishing coral reefs are gone.

  • Instead, you would likely see a graveyard of rubble and algae.

  • Back on land, heatwaves are becoming increasingly deadly,

  • with approximately 65 million extra people exposed to

  • exceptional heatwaves each year.

  • Imagine yourself at the North Pole, but all you see is open water.

  • The polar bears are gone

  • along with the sea ice that used to be their home.

  • You take a boat to the edge of Greenland, but that frozen wasteland

  • is thawing.

  • Huge meltwater rivers thunder into the ocean, where they add to the

  • rising sea levels that are beginning to flood the world's coastlines.

  • Take a trip to Miami, Mumbai or Melbourne

  • and you'll probably need a boat.

  • Faced with the rising seas, 10 million people could be forced

  • to pack up and move.

  • Global harvests would also suffer,

  • and in developing countries especially

  • the number of people experiencing water scarcity doubles.

  • This would be a world of increasing poverty and human misery.

  • All for what? For half a degree.

  • And for a few more years of coal smoke stacks

  • and oil industry profits.

  • The choice is ours, but not for long.

  • Every bit of warming, every year, every choice matters.

  • But like a desert mirage, the 1.5 degree world is receding

  • into the distance with every year we delay.

  • If carbon emissions keep growing for decades to come,

  • then even two degrees looks hopeful.

  • That's a world - a darker world - of flood, fire and conflict

  • that we can barely even imagine.

  • We can still choose

  • that half a degree window between unsettling dream

  • and full-blown nightmare.

  • But it's closing fast.

  • Thanks for watching. Don't forget to subscribe

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  • See you again soon.

If the temperature outside changes by half a degree,

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氣候變化。半度如何改變世界|BBC創意頻道 (Climate change: How half a degree could change the world forever | BBC Ideas)

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    Summer 發佈於 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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