Last Friday’s IPCC meeting marked an important milestone for the progress of climate change action. The meeting addressed several issues including the scientific evidence, analysis and predictions for the future, as well as possible outcomes of action.
The meeting had additional poignancy due to the release of findings that scientists are now over 95% certain that humans are responsible for climate change. From the findings of this report, it is now more certain than ever that the heating of earth is caused by carbon emissions. This will then go on to impact sea levels, cause drought, melt the icecaps and amplify extreme weather even further.
So now we are more aware than ever that our actions cause climate change, we are now – although somewhat overdue – ready to take responsibility for the effects and work to reduce further damage. “Limiting climate change will require substantial and sustained reductions of greenhouse gas emissions.”
Only action NOW will get us closer to bringing about effective change.
The IPCC report in a nutshell:
- The atmosphere is warmer.
- The ocean is warmer – especially nearer the surface, indicating it is atmospheric warming causing the change.
- Evaporation and precipitation patterns over the oceans are likely to have changed.
- Rate of ice loss from glaciers has increased.
- Global average sea levels have risen.
- Levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have increased due to human activity.
- The ocean has absorbed up to 30% of the emitted CO2, causing acidification and affecting marine life.
- The increase of CO2 has led to changes in the radiation balance in the atmosphere.
- Warming will continue and temperatures are likely to rise over 2C by 2100.
- Rise in sea temperatures will continue, and as deeper sea is penetrated, circulation will be affected.
- Global glacier volume will decrease.
- Global mean sea level will continue to rise.
- Some aspects of climate change will still last centuries even if CO2 emissions are stopped altogether.
- Geo engineering is being considered to counter climate change.