Tuesday, March 01, 2022

IPCC issues ‘bleakest warning yet’ on impacts of climate breakdown


No surprise to those of us who have followed the problem for decades.




Fiona Harvey Environment correspondent
Mon 28 Feb 2022 06.00 EST


“The scientific evidence is unequivocal: climate change is a threat to human wellbeing and the health of the planet,” said Hans-Otto Pörtner, a co-chair of working group 2 of the IPCC. “Any further delay in concerted global action will miss a brief and rapidly closing window to secure a liveable future.”

In what some scientists termed “the bleakest warning yet”, the summary report from the global authority on climate science says droughts, floods, heatwaves and other extreme weather are accelerating and wreaking increasing damage.

Allowing global temperatures to increase by more than 1.5C above pre-industrial levels, as looks likely on current trends in greenhouse gas emissions, would result in some “irreversible” impacts. These include the melting of ice caps and glaciers, and a cascading effect whereby wildfires, the die-off of trees, the drying of peatlands and the thawing of permafrost release additional carbon emissions, amplifying the warming further. 


The report says:

    Everywhere is affected, with no inhabited region escaping dire impacts from rising temperatures and increasingly extreme weather.

    About half the global population – between 3.3 billion and 3.6 billion people – live in areas “highly vulnerable” to climate change.

    Millions of people face food and water shortages owing to climate change, even at current levels of heating.

    Mass die-offs of species, from trees to corals, are already under way.

    1.5C above pre-industrial levels constitutes a “critical level” beyond which the impacts of the climate crisis accelerate strongly and some become irreversible.

    Coastal areas around the globe, and small, low-lying islands, face inundation at temperature rises of more than 1.5C.

    Key ecosystems are losing their ability to absorb carbon dioxide, turning them from carbon sinks to carbon sources.

    Some countries have agreed to conserve 30% of the Earth’s land, but conserving half may be necessary to restore the ability of natural ecosystems to cope with the damage wreaked on them.






No comments:

Post a Comment