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Five Take-aways from the IPCC Report

Many of the effects of climate change like sea-level rise and glacier melt are now virtually irreversible, the latest report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has found.

The report by the IPCC, the climate science body of the United Nations and the World Meteorological Organization, draws from the work of thousands of scientists from across the world to accurately assess and advise action for policy-makers and leaders.

The report released in August 2021 is grim – but there is still time to change. Here are five things you need to know from the report.

1. Human-activity is causing global warming

For the first time, the data is very specific and conclusive that humans are responsible for the warming of the planet. The IPCC has found that 1.07 ℃ of the 1.09 ℃ warming of the planet so far is due to greenhouse gases associated with human activities.

In other words, almost all global warming is due to humans.

2. CO2 levels are rising faster than ever

In the past two million years, global CO2 levels have never been higher than they are at present and about 85% of C02 emissions are from burning fossil fuels. The remaining 15 percent are generated from land-use change, such as deforestation and degradation.

3. Extreme weather will continue, as a result of human activity

Human influence has also been detected for the first time in compounded extreme events. Incidences of heatwaves and droughts happening at the same time are now more frequent across all continents.

4. Hotter, more acidic oceans

Oceans absorb 91% energy from the increased atmospheric greenhouse gases. This has led to ocean warming and marine heatwaves.

Marine heatwaves, that result in the death of marine species and imbalance in that ecosystem, will likely become four times more frequent by the end of the century.

5. Many changes are already irreversible

The IPCC report states that even if the Earth’s climate stabilizes soon, some climate change-induced damage is here to stay for centuries or even millennia. For example, global warming of 2℃ this century will lead to an average global sea-level rise of between two and six meters over 2,000 years.

While the report is a reason to worry, we must not panic. There is still hope… if we act collectively and immediately. It is up to policy makers, leaders – and us – to demand change and act to create it.

How can YOU act today? Plant trees – it’s the easiest way to take climate action.


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