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CHILLING might be the wrong word, but it is certainly a stark message that appears towards the end of our special report on the latest climate change science: if we do too little, too late, and Earth’s climate feedbacks work against us, many children today could live to see 5°C of global warming or more.

As this week’s equally stark cover image of global temperature anomalies last month shows, in some parts of the world at some times, we are already there. Global warming is the greatest existential challenge of our age – perhaps of any age, measured by …