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World leaders must get serious about climate change, scientists warn

  • 9 August 2021
The IPCC published an report with the latest climate research, and warns ‘Time is running out’.

Today the United Nations (UN) released an alarming report on the state of the climate. The jaw-dropping scientific report reveals, “The past five years have been the hottest on record since 1850.” Written by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the report highlights the latest findings on the current climate crisis and what policymakers need to do. 

The UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, says, “Today’s IPCC Working Group 1 Report is a code red for humanity.” These are some of its major conclusions: 

  1. Scientists are certain that human-caused emissions have dangerously and permanently changed our planet. The last time atmospheric CO2 levels were this high was millions of years ago. Temperatures are rising faster than any time in at least the last 2000 years.
  2. Fingerprints of manmade climate change can be found throughout the climate system. Changes in rainfall, heat extremes, growing intensity of tropical cyclones and compound events (for example, heatwaves and droughts happening at the same time) can all be attributed to human activity.
  3. Carbon and methane emissions both need to be rapidly reduced this decade and reduced to net-zero by 2050, in order to give us our best chance of limiting temperatures to 1.5°C by the end of the century. But the window is closing fast on our opportunity to achieve this.
  4.  There are very real limits to how much carbon can be absorbed by land and the ocean. If we rapidly reduce emissions in line with the most ambitious IPCC pathways, natural carbon sinks can do a lot to help take us the rest of the way to net zero. If we fail to reduce emissions rapidly, we will be forced into the dangerous situation of relying on technologies that don’t yet meaningfully exist.

The IPCC is publishing a series of reports across 2021-22. The first report hopes to impact the decisions made at the global climate summit in Glasgow this November. The climate summit is named ‘COP26’. It will bring world leaders, scientists, and climate change activists together to make new policies to tackle the climate emergency.

Alok Sharma, The UK Government COP26 President said, “the effects of climate change are evident with floods, fires, and heatwaves.” He told the Observer, “We can’t afford to wait two years, five years, 10 years – this is the moment,”

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