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It wasn't so long ago that the governments of the world assured us that we had until 2030 to cut carbon emissions, leading us all to believe we still had a bit of time up our sleeves to save the planet.
But now more and more scientists are claiming the tipping point for addressing climate change could happen in the next 18 months.
"The climate math is brutally clear. While the world can't be healed within the next few years, it may be fatally wounded by negligence until 2020," said Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, founder and now director emeritus of the Potsdam Climate Institute.
Addressing an audience of Commonwealth foreign ministers, Prince Charles publicly supported the claims, saying: "I am firmly of the view that the next 18 months will decide our ability to keep climate change to survivable levels and to restore nature to the equilibrium we need for our survival."
Last year the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reported that emissions of carbon dioxide would have to be cut by 45 percent by 2030 in a bid to keep the rise in global temperatures below 1.5°C.
Andrew King, a climate science academic at the University of Melbourne, said in a statement to CNN: "This is concerning because we know there are so many more problems if we exceed 1.5°C global warming, including more heat waves and hot summers, greater sea level rise, and, for many parts of the world, worse droughts and rainfall extremes."
"The window on keeping global warming below 1.5°C is closing rapidly and the current emissions pledges made by signatories to the Paris Agreement do not add up to us achieving that goal," King added.
If no action is taken at all, it seems the earth can expect temperatures to rise by 3°C, which may not seem like all that much, but is more than enough to increase the frequency and severity of droughts and deadly hurricanes, as well as the deterioration of more than 90% of the world's coral reefs.
To pressure the Australian government into making decisions that address climate change in order to protect one of Australia's most iconic natural wonders, click here.
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