Scientists have delivered a “final warning” on the climate crisis, as rising greenhouse gas emissions push the world to the brink of irrevocable damage that only swift and drastic action can avert.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), made up of the world’s leading climate scientists, set out the final part of its mammoth sixth assessment report on Monday.
The comprehensive review of human knowledge of the climate crisis took hundreds of scientists eight years to compile and runs to thousands of pages, but boiled down to one message: act now, or it will be too late.
The UN secretary general, António Guterres, said: “This report is a clarion call to massively fast-track climate efforts by every country and every sector and on every timeframe. Our world needs climate action on all fronts: everything, everywhere, all at once.”
In sober language, the IPCC set out the devastation that has already been inflicted on swathes of the world. Extreme weather caused by climate breakdown has led to increased deaths from intensifying heatwaves in all regions, millions of lives and homes destroyed in droughts and floods, millions of people facing hunger, and “increasingly irreversible losses” in vital ecosystems.
Monday’s final instalment, called the synthesis report, is almost certain to be the last such assessment while the world still has a chance of limiting global temperature rises to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels, the threshold beyond which our damage to the climate will rapidly become irreversible. [Continue reading…]