- The world is running out of time to avoid the devastating repercussions of global warming, according to a landmark new UN report.
- Humans are “unequivocally” to blame, according to the IPCC experts’ report.
According to a United Nations report, global warming is perilously close to getting out of hand. The United Nations’ climate panel warned in a new report released Monday that the world is already on course to face greater climatic disturbances in the next decades, if not centuries.
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment, humans are “unequivocally” to blame. Some of the effects of rapid action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions could be minimized, but others are now irreversible.
The fatal heat waves, massive hurricanes, and other weather extremes that have already occurred will only get worse.
500,000 acres of forest burned in California alone on Monday, as tourists in Venice plunged through ankle-deep water in St. Mark’s Square.
The report has been termed as “code red for humanity” by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres.
In a statement, he stated, “The warning bells are deafening. This report must sound the death knell, before coal and fossil fuels destroy our world.”
The evidence is irrefutable: greenhouse gas emissions are choking our planet & placing billions of people in danger.— António Guterres (@antonioguterres) August 9, 2021
Global heating is affecting every region on Earth, with many of the changes becoming irreversible.
We must act decisively now to avert a climate catastrophe. https://t.co/TQlgp1D9AV
The United Nations will hold a meeting in three months. The COP26 climate summit, which will take place in Glasgow, Scotland, will attempt to wring considerably more ambitious climate action and funding from the world’s nations.
The IPCC report, which draws on over 14,000 scientific studies, provides the most comprehensive and thorough picture yet of how climate change is affecting the natural world – and what may lie ahead.
According to the report, unless urgent, substantial, and large-scale action is taken to reduce emissions, the average global temperature would reach or cross the 1.5-degree Celsius (2.7-degree Fahrenheit) warming threshold within 20 years.
The pledges made thus far to reduce emissions are insufficient to begin reducing the amount of greenhouse gases accumulating in the atmosphere, primarily carbon dioxide (CO2) from the burning of fossil fuels.
The findings alarmed governments and campaigners combined.
Boris Johnson, the British Prime Minister, said he hoped the report would serve as a “wake-up call for the world to act now, before we gather in Glasgow.”
“We can’t wait to tackle the climate crisis,” US President Joe Biden tweeted on Monday. “The signs are unmistakable. The science is undeniable. And the cost of inaction keeps increasing.”
According to the report, emissions “unequivocally generated by human activity” have already elevated the average global temperature 1.1 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial levels, and would have raised it 0.5 degrees further if pollution in the atmosphere had not moderated it.
As a result, even as societies transition away from fossil fuels, temperatures will rise due to the removal of airborne pollutants that come with them and currently reflect part of the sun’s heat.
A rise of 1.5 degrees Celsius is often regarded as the maximum that humanity can tolerate without experiencing major economic and social disruption.
Already, the 1.1 degree Celsius increase has wreaked havoc on the weather. Heat waves in the Pacific Northwest killed hundreds of people this year, shattering records all across the world. Wildfires fueled by heat and drought are destroying entire towns across the United States. West, prompting Greeks to evacuate their homes via ferry, generating record carbon dioxide emissions from Siberian forests.
Further warming can mean that people in some areas will die simply by stepping outside.
Some of the changes have already been “locked in.” The melting of Greenland’s land-ice sheet is “almost certain,” boosting sea levels, which will continue to increase for centuries as the oceans warm and expand.
Even if emissions are reduced by half during the next decade, average temperatures could rise 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2040 and even 1.6 degrees Celsius by 2060 before stabilising.
If the world continues on its current path, temperatures might rise by 2.0 degrees Celsius by 2060 and 2.7 degrees Celsius by the end of the century.
Since the Pliocene Epoch, around 3 million years ago, when humanity’s first ancestors appeared and the oceans were 25 metres (82 feet) higher than they are today, the Earth has not been this warm.
If warming generates feedback loops that release even more climate-warming carbon emissions, such as the melting of Arctic permafrost or global forest dieback, things might become even worse.
By the last two decades of this century, Earth may be 4.4 degrees Celsius warmer than it was before the Industrial Revolution under these high-emissions scenarios.