A new UN report released on Monday has offered grim prospects for the planet’s future amidst a climate crisis, raising pressure on governments meeting for the crucial COP26 talks in November.
The report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded that global warming would get progressively worse and could not be stopped over the next 30 years.
The IPCC projects that in the coming decades, climate changes will increase in all regions. For 1.5°C of global warming, there will be increasing heat waves, longer warm seasons and shorter cold seasons.
At 2°C of global warming, heat extremes would more often reach critical tolerance thresholds for agriculture and health.
“Climate change is already affecting every region on earth, in multiple ways. The changes we experience will increase with additional warming,” said IPCC Working Group I Co-Chair, Panmao Zhai.
Climate scientist, Piers Forster, said, “We can expect a significant jump in extreme weather over the next 20 or 30 years. Things are unfortunately likely to get worse than they are today.”
It is the first global assessment since 2013, when scientists found that global warming since the 1950s was extremely likely due to human activity.
The report which was originally scheduled for release in April was delayed for several months by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The IPCC said that the report was authored by 234 authors from 66 countries and 517 contributing authors.
It also had over 14,000 cited references and a total of 78,007 expert and government review comments.
The report comes as global temperatures have climbed to 1.2 Celsius above pre-industrial levels and increasingly extreme weather – from record heatwaves and wildfires to downpours and devastating flooding – hits countries around the world.
The report however shows that human actions still have the potential to determine the future course of climate.
Zhai said, “Stabilising the climate will require strong, rapid, and sustained reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, and reaching net zero CO2 emissions.
“Limiting other greenhouse gases and air pollutants, especially methane, could have benefits both for health and the climate.”
Ahead of the COP26 climate summit, UN climate chief, Patricia Espinosa, had warned that many countries had not brought forward new action plans for cutting their emissions while lamenting that those that had were not doing enough.
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