What is the good and bad news about climate change brought by the sixth report of the IPCC, a document that immediately after its publication attracted the attention of all world media?
On Monday, the public presented the most accurate and comprehensive scientific forecast of what fate awaits the planet so far. At the press conference, which sent the message of “red alert”, the scientists presented the first part of the so-called Sixth Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Like the previous five, this document will provide a complete overview of the current state of scientific knowledge on climate change, and is based on 14,000 peer-reviewed scientific papers.
The process of publishing “part by part” will take more than a year, but the world media immediately paid close attention to this first presentation, conveying several key messages from the part of the published report.
The sixth report rejects any dilemma about the cause of climate change affecting the planet. It states that “there is no doubt that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, the oceans and the earth,” and that significant changes have already taken place in a number of important processes taking place on Earth. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the IPCC report was a “red alert” for all of humanity.
The humankind is guilty
The report states that the extent of change recorded in the entire climate system has not been seen for centuries or thousands of years.
Human activities and greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere have already left a visible mark on our planet’s climate. Temperatures have risen by about 1.1 degrees Celsius compared to the pre-industrial period, with most inland regions experiencing a marked increase in extremely high temperatures and each of the last four decades being warmer than the last.
From the middle of the 20th century until today, there has been an increase in the number of other time extremes in the world. Global warming has led to more heat waves, extreme rainfall and drought.
In the seven years since the previous IPCC report was published, our understanding of the changes affecting the planet has increased significantly thanks to great advances in the science of climate change, and experts can now speak with even greater certainty about the consequences of increasing carbon concentrations. dioxide.
Such human actions and greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere have already left a visible mark on the climate of our planet.
The area in which perhaps the greatest breakthrough is is the ability of science to assess the exact impact of man on certain time extremes. Thanks to that, we now know that some events, such as the extreme heat wave that hit Siberia last year, would not have been possible without climate change.
“This report is a confrontation with reality. “We now have a much clearer picture of the past, the present and the future climate, which is crucial to understanding where we are going, what we can do and how to prepare.”said Valerie Mason-Delmonte, co-chair of the IPCC group responsible for drafting this part of the report.
New and more accurate climate models have greatly improved the ability of scientists to better predict possible future changes in the planet’s climate.
If global emissions are not reduced to zero by the middle of the century, it is certain that the world will cross a dangerous border – the average atmospheric temperature will rise by more than the “acceptable” 1.5 and 2 degrees Celsius. The planet will continue to warm above these values unless rapid and comprehensive measures are taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
More and more extreme weather events await us, which are unprecedented in historical records.
Unfortunately, this means far more extreme temperatures and heat waves. In addition, the warmer atmosphere will cause even more extreme events with heavy rainfall. It is expected that for each degree of warming the intensity of precipitation during these extreme events will increase by 7%. A warmer atmosphere will also mean stronger tropical cyclones with higher maximum wind speeds.
The report states that even if we are successful in maintaining the warming limit of 1.5 ° C, we expect more and more extreme weather events that are unprecedented in historical records.
Scientists have also paid special attention to the effects of global warming, which are unlikely but could have an extremely large impact on society and the planet. Thus, it is stated that the rise in sea level by as much as two meters by the end of this century is not excluded if there is greater destabilization of the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica.
This is especially important because disrupting the Earth’s climate system carries with it the risk of crossing so-called turning points. Then there can be much faster and more dramatic changes in the planet’s climate. One such point is the weakening of the Gulf Stream, according to the text, where recent research shows that there are clear signs of destabilization of this system, which has a huge impact on climate conditions in much of the world.
The good news of saving the world
Although the report’s findings paint a bleak picture, the good news is that the future is still in our hands. Climate models show that future greenhouse gas emissions directly affect how much the planet is warming, which means that by implementing comprehensive measures to stop the burning of fossil fuels and switch to renewable energy sources, we are preventing the severe consequences of climate change.
However, while human activities may directly affect the level of future global warming, the report emphasizes that certain processes on the planet, such as rising sea levels caused by climate change, will continue to occur for hundreds or even hundreds of years. thousands of years.
This is just another argument in support of the claim that there is no time to lose and that the world needs urgent and decisive climate action, because every additional ton of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increases the chance of a number of adverse outcomes, the text concludes.