The climate crisis is having irreversible consequences and the window for preventing more severe changes is shrinking, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said in a Monday report.
The reportPrepared by hundreds of researchers around the world, finds that the Earth’s temperature has already risen by 1.09 degrees Celsius and is on track to surpass the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting warming to under 1.5 degrees Celsius within the next few decades. Some impacts on ecosystems or vulnerable regions are already permanent. Warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius or 2 degrees will only lead to more damage.
Half of the world’s population is living with high vulnerability to the climate crisis, researchers found, while half of the species assessed by the IPCC have already shifted to different habitats in order to survive. Changes that are arising from greenhouse gasses are coming quicker than communities can adapt – and, in some cases, adaptation mechanismsThey are contributing to the crisis.
“I have seen many scientific reports in my time, but nothing like this,” said António Guterres, secretary-general of the United Nations, in a press conference. “Today’s IPCC report is an atlas of human suffering, and a damning indictment of failed climate leadership. With fact upon fact, this report reveals how people and the planet are getting clobbered by climate change.”
Guterres said that political inertia and continued use fossil fuels are to blame. “Coal and other fossil fuels are choking humanity,” he said.
People are already affected by extreme weather events such as wildfires, heatwaves, and flooding. killed hundredsLast year. Millions of people have been affected by the recession. in Asia and Africastorms and floods are causing displacement. Additionally, increased wildfires and tree mortality are increasing greenhouse gas concentrations in this atmosphere.
Rising sea levels will lead to rapid displacement. Coastal residents, including those who live in cities, are at greater risk of being killed or forced to flee their homes. These resource loss could lead to violent conflicts or mass migrations over the next decade.
Humans are also affected by water system problems. Record heat and droughts are causing millions of people to face growing food and water scarcity issues on all continents. Food production challenges are leading to increased malnutrition, particularly for Indigenous peoples and low-income communities. About half of the world’s population already experiences severe water scarcity for some part of the year.
These changes are having impacts on the global community’s mental and physical health. The number of diseases and climate-related illnesses has increased. Floods and storms are increasing the incidence of gastrointestinal diseases such as cholera. Wildfires and other polluting events are increasing the risk of respiratory and cardiovascular diseases.
“One of the most striking conclusions in our report is that we’re seeing adverse impacts being much more widespread and being much more negative than expected in prior reports,” said Camille ParmesanUniversity of Texas at Austin, ecologist and coauthor of this report.
Monday’s report is just one part of the IPCC’s overall package on the impact of the climate crisis; the first part of the reportLast summer, a report detailing the physical aspects of climate change was published. The latest installment explains how these impacts affect society and humans.
The report’s authors warn that while some changes are locked in, further climate impacts – and climate-related deaths – aren’t unavoidable. It’s up to wealthy, powerful governments to make the change.
But reporting is important has found that wealthyThe report’s section specifically aimed at policymakers was actively weakened by nations. Climate Home News, nations like the U.S., Germany and France pushed for terms like “losses and damages” to be replaced with “adverse impacts.” Although the changes ultimately weren’t included, the effort is reflective of world leaders’ continued refusal to prevent climate disaster.