The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a report on Monday, February 28, that the panel’s chairperson Hoesung Lee has called a “dire warning about the consequences of inaction.”
The report is the second installment of three reviews produced by the world’s preeminent body of climate researchers. The first report was released in August of 2021. According to this new assessment, much of the impact of global warming is “irreversible.” However, there is a ray of hope as the report claims we have a window to avoid the worst damage, albeit a very brief one. According to USA Today, this review presents options for swift action to prevent the direst consequences.
Over six billion people inhabit our planet. As the global population has increased over the centuries, it has become more apparent that these growing numbers have impacted weather patterns.
Over the past few years, certain areas have reported record high temperatures. People have died from the heat and the damage that accompanies it. Climate change is also linked to hurricanes, tornadoes, rising sea levels, floods, and an uptick in diseases. According to the new findings, this is just a piece of the devastation our planet faces unless we act immediately.
Per the BBC, humans and nature are being pushed to the very edge of adaptability amidst climate change. The IPCC report has determined that over 40% of the world’s population is “highly vulnerable” to this grim reality. Still, damage can be mitigated if the global rise in temperature is kept below 1.5 degrees Celsius.
World leaders will convene at the United Nations COP26 (Climate Change Conference) in four months. The latest IPCC report is an indicator of the scale of their task as we are at the point of no return. Professor Debra Roberts, the co-chair of the IPCC, had this to say about the urgency of this year’s conference: “So, this is really a key moment. Our report points out very clearly, this is the decade of action if we are going to turn things around.”
This new report examines the causes, impact, and proposed solutions to climate change. It paints a somber picture of how rising temperatures will affect all living things on the planet. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres summarized the findings perfectly when he deemed them an “atlas of human suffering.” Now, it is up to humans to reverse this course before it is too late.