STORY: Climate Change Report - IPCC
SOURCE: UNTV CH
ASPECT RATIO: 16:9
DATELINE: 9 August 2021, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
Climate change affects everyone on the planet and is intensifying: IPCC report
The latest data on climate change from the world’s leading experts in the field indicates that the existential phenomenon is widespread, rapid and intensifying, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said on Monday, while also noting that its worst impacts could be slowed if emissions were reduced quickly.
Based on an assessment of more than 14,000 scientific papers on the climate, the UN-hosted body warned that global warming has been “unequivocally” human-driven – a message echoed by UN Secretary-General António Guterres, who warned that the IPCC report “is a code red for humanity”.
Hoesung Lee, Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) insisted that it was “indisputable that human activities are causing climate change and making extreme weather events more frequent and severe”.
Dr Lee explained that the report showed how the changing climate had affected “every region of our planet”, with the conclusion that only “strong, rapid, sustained reductions in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions” could limit global warming.
Warming temperatures have also happened at a rate faster than anything experienced in at least 2,000 years, the IPCC noted in its Sixth Report, which was delayed by months because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide concentrations in the atmosphere have all risen since the body issued its last report, and each of the last four decades “successively warmer” than any decade that preceded it since 1850.
“This report shows that in all the assessed scenarios, global warming would reach or exceed 1.5 degrees Celsius in the coming two decades,” said Valerie Masson-Delmotte, Co-Chair of Working Group I, IPCC. “However, if emissions are reduced rapidly, and if at the global scale they reach net zero by around 2050, then the temperature would be very close to 1.5 degrees Celsius by the middle of the century and would decline lower to that level by the end of the century.”
The findings of the latest IPCC report will be discussed at the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow in November.
In his appeal for action by the world’s most industrialised nations who are also the biggest polluters, Mr. Guterres said it was crucial for all nations to join the net zero emissions coalition, and reinforce their promises on slowing down and reversing global heating "with credible, concrete, and enhanced Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs)".
Multiple, recent climate disasters including devastating flooding in central China and western Europe have focused public attention as never before, suggested Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).
“As citizens and as businesses and as governments, we are well aware of the drama,” she said “The drama exists, we have seen it and we heard about it in every news bulletin. And that’s what we need to understand, that the expression of what the science says is exhibited before our very eyes, and of course what this excellent report does is, it projects those scenarios outward, and tells us, if we do not take action, what could be the potential outcomes, or if we do take action, what will be a very good outcome.”
On the threat of climate change in Asia, Panmao Zhai, Co-Chair of the IPCC Working Group I explained that “we see a lot of extreme events happen, the heatwaves have increased and are also projected to continue in the future. And the precipitation extremes increase over many parts of the region, and also, we’ll see an increase by and strong influence of tropical cyclones and the drought is becoming more frequent and more severe.”
Continuing sea level rise is also expected to have more regularly devastating impacts, IPCC
Co-Chair Dr Masson-Delmotte continued. “With gradual sea level rise, the extreme sea level events that occurred in the past, just once per century, will occur more frequently in the future. For most coastal places worldwide, those that occurred only once per century in the past, are expected to occur once to twice per 10 years by mid-century. And the information we provide in this report is extremely important to take this information into account and to prepare for these events.”