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Greta Thunberg to Congress: "Listen to the scientists" on global warming

Swedish teen climate activist Greta Thunberg, who arrived in the U.S. last month after sailing across the Atlantic Ocean in a carbon neutral ship, offered a 2018 report on the implications of climate change in lieu of an opening statement in her testimony before 2 congressional committees on Wednesday.

"My name is Greta Thunberg. I have not come to offer any prepared remarks at this hearing. I'm instead attaching my testimony. It is the IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 degree celsius, the SR 1.5, which was released on October 8, 2018. I’m submitting this report as my testimony because I don’t want you to listen to me. I want you to listen to the scientists, and I want you to unite behind the science, and then I want you to take real action."

The big picture: The 2018 report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded that global warming can be held to 1.5°C relative to preindustrial levels if countries take "unprecedented" action to stem greenhouse gas emissions.

  • But the consequences will be far more severe if temperatures go past that level of 1.5°C, or 2.7°F, of warming.
  • The report noted that there are already deadly impacts from the 1°C, or 1.8°F, of warming so far — including more severe and longer lasting heat waves, more heavy precipitation events, and ocean warming that is killing many of the planet's coral reefs.

Go deeper: More details on the IPCC's 2018 climate assessment