On the 9th of August 2021, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a 4000 pages climate report that presents a tragic news: Earth is warmer than it’s been in 125,000 years.
The latest natural catastrophes as raging fires and extreme flooding were witnessed across the US, Greece, Turkey, Germany and China and their scale was described by scientists as “widespread, rapid and intensifying”. Even the richest countries in the world cannot control the widespread, disastrous consequences of climate change.
This is the evident consequence of climate change: Earth’s global surface temperature has increased by around 1.1 °C compared with the average in 1850–1900. With changes in temperatures and climate systems heavy precipitations and tropical storms will become more extreme and frequent together with heatwaves and droughts. Moreover, also the carbon skins on land and in the ocean will become less effective in slowing down the accumulation of CO2 in the atmosphere as emissions rise.
In addition, experts from the IPCC warned in the latest report that immediate actions must be taken to keep greenhouse emissions below 1.5 degrees C-2 degrees C as agreed in the 2015 Paris Agreement. Scientists underlined that this would require immediate, rapid and large-scale interventions to reduce the polluting emissions. In the scenarios studied by the IPCC, there is a more than 50% chance that the 1.5 degrees C target is reached or crossed between 2021 and 2040.
If no actions are taken to lower or control the emissions, the IPCC finds the world may warm by up to 5.7 degrees C by 2100 leading to inevitable catastrophic results. Therefore, the report suggests a transformational change that will see the redefinition of the ways in which goods and services are consumed, energy is produced, and the land is managed.
This report once again underlines that climate change is happening, it is real, and it is affecting people everywhere in the world. Natural disasters are increasing in both wealthy and poor parts of the planet. However, the IPCC report also underlines that many of the most disastrous effects of climate change can still be avoided if aggressive action is taken now, leaving the future in our hands.