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"Limiting global warming to 1.5ºC would require rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society", an IPCC press release reads.

The IPCC said if global warming could be limited to 1.5C, then the world would have a fighting chance of avoiding catastrophic problems, including the inundation of coastal cities such as Perth and mass extinctions of animals and insects.

Sea level rises would be 10cm lower with a 1.5C temperature rise compared to 2C by the end of the century.

What's the difference? 2 degrees means no more coral reefs, while 1.5 degrees mean only most will be wiped out.

The report is comprehensive, citing over 6,000 scientific references, and its basic message is this: limiting warming to a rise of 1.5 degrees compared with pre-industrial levels will require an unprecedented amount of effort, but a rise of 2 degrees would be far more harmful and ultimately more costly, too.

Holthaus also tweeted that he is available to lend his expertise to "any TV/radio news program this week to put this report in its appropriate context" - but with a special exemption for Fox News due to their not accepting science.

Governments are set to meet at the Katowice Climate Change Conference in Poland in December to discuss the report and steps that can be taken to address climate change.

The Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius was approved this morning (8 October) after it was first proposed as part of the Paris Agreement in 2015.

- To limit warming to 1.5C, net emissions of carbon dioxide would need to fall by about 45% from 2010 levels by 2030, reaching "net zero" around 2050.

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"Limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius is possible within the laws of chemistry and physics", said Jim Skea, co-chair of the IPCC working group dealing with the mitigation of climate change.

Humanity is on a crash course with the natural world, and for decades, climate scientists have been throwing up stop sign after stop sign.

If nothing is done, Earth can expect heat wave temperatures to rise by 3 degrees Celsius, more frequent or extreme droughts, an increase in deadly hurricanes and as much as 90 percent of coral reefs dying off - including the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, according to the report.

As the report concludes: "There is no simple answer to the questions of whether it is feasible to limit warming to 1.5 C and to adapt to the consequences".

The longer we wait to act, the IPCC report says, the more we'll have to use this type of technology, which has never been proven at a large scale.

"The IPCC report is very clear that government commitments are far from sufficient and will not achieve the Paris Agreement's warming limit - there needs to be a redoubled effort to increase the level of ambition for 2030", says Rueanna Haynes, SIDS climate advisor.

Scottish Greens' co-convener Patrick Harvie said: "We've always challenged the government to go further in its response to unsafe climate change".

Despite the dire warning, Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said that Australia would "absolutely" continue to use and exploit its coal reserves, arguing that renewable energy sources could not replace coal.

McKibben believes the odds of governments taking action in the wake of this report are slim.