What The IPCC Report Means For Humanity

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report is the United Nations (UN) body that assesses information related to climate change, and it has been around for over thirty years. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report is written every six to seven years. The report was established by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in 1988 and by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in 1988. Since the establishment of the IPCC report, it has had five assessment cycles and has given five Assessment Reports. The reports that the IPCC has written are the most extensive scientific reports about climate change in the world. The IPCC’S main goal is to give governments at all levels (local, federal ETC) scientific information that they can use to create policies relating to the environment. The IPCC reports talk about the past climate, the current climate, and the possible climate in the future depending on the decisions the world makes. The latest IPCC report and the one I will be discussing is in the Sixth Assessment Report Category. 

Over 800 scientists from across the globe contributed to the latest IPCC report for almost six years. This report was also approved by over 186 governments and has been based on more than 14,000 studies. The latest report is in the category of the Sixth Assessment Report and is called AR6 Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis and it was published on August, 6th, 2021. This report makes it clear that climate change is affecting every region on the planet. In addition, the report also talks about how climate change will intensify as global warming levels continue to increase. The sixth report which is the newest report acts as a wake-up call for those who continue to ignore the severity of the climate crisis. The IPCC called climate change a “code red for humanity,” and the report said that the world is facing unprecedented rates of climate change. The report says “unless there is an immediate reduction in greenhouse gas emissions to 1.5 degrees celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit), avoiding the irreversible effects of climate change will not be possible.” Currently, the world is at 1.1 celsius so we only have 0.4 celsius left before the planet faces irreversible effects from climate change. However, to avoid the irreversible effects of climate change, experts say that we can’t pass the 1.5-Celsius limit. Furthermore, this report also goes on to say that each of the four past decades have been the warmest on record since the pre-industrial time period. The IPCC report also says that it is undeniable that humans are causing climate change. It also says that climate change will cause more droughts, rain, flooding, frequent heat waves, and other climate disasters around the world. The Secretary for the UN, Antonio Guterres says in response, “the alarm bells are deafening, and the evidence is irrefutable: greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel burning and deforestation are choking our planet and putting billions of people at immediate risk.”  This report is the first part of the IPCC’S sixth assessment report and it gives world leaders the modern climate science for the Conference Of Parties (COP) twenty-six climate talks occurring at the beginning of November. The IPCC explains that the changes in the planet are beyond extreme.

The report also made it clear that many countries are struggling with climate change because of events like floods, toxic smoke plumes, and many other issues. In 2015, the Paris Accord was introduced. The goal for the Paris Accord was to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees celsius but preferably to 1.5 celsius. However, scientists don’t think that it will happen as of now, so it’s imperative that we don’t exceed the 1.5 Celsius target. The IPCC report also discusses how starting in 2011, the arctic sea level reached its lowest level of area and continues to decrease past the previous lowest level every year. 

With 3,949 pages, the latest IPCC Ar6, the Physical Science basis report, boasts a lot of information about climate change. High school Junior Samuel Attias says “I agree that climate change is happening but the solutions that are being presented are not suitable or realistic.” However, High School junior Meitalia Factor the Vice President of the Hillel Environmental Club disagrees. She says, “the climate crisis is incredibly urgent and the latest IPCC report shows just how scary and important it is.” Angel Montalvo, a Democrat running for the 27th congressional district of Florida, said “the IPCC report is jarring. We face a planetary crisis that our government is unwilling or unable to meaningfully address and our communities are disturbingly unaware of the scope and magnitude of the danger we are in. Miami is particularly vulnerable so what we do now is critical because we have so little time and so much to lose. The time has come for us as a global community to come together and do what is right for our current and future generations.” Finally, I reached out to Madeline Canfield for a comment on the IPCC report. She is an associate for the Jewish Youth Climate Movement (JYCM), the first and currently only American non-profit dedicated to educating Jewish youth about climate change. In a response, Madeline Canfield said “As a young person who grew up in a frontline city (Houston, Texas) facing intensifying hurricanes and storms, I am only made more fearful for the future of my generation of youth living in my home community if the worst of what is laid out in the most recent IPCC report becomes a reality. But I know that without hope, we will be paralyzed. The IPCC report emphasizes that what climate change looks like is dependent on what those in power choose to do over the next few years to save the places and the peoples that comprise this planet. We have the power to reclaim the future of our home.”

The most important thing to know from the latest IPCC Ar6 report is that we don’t have much time to tackle climate change if we are to avoid exceeding the 1.5 Celsius target. As individuals, we must join organizations focused on stopping climate change and call our politicians to ask them to pass more environmental policies. We need to wake our politicians up, showing them that the world doesn’t have much time to stop climate change, and we need to pull down the fire alarm because we’re in a consequential climate emergency “right now.”

Sources:

  1. https://www.ipcc.ch/about/history/
  2. https://www.cnbc.com/2021/08/09/ipcc-report-un-climate-report-delivers-starkest-warning-yet.html
  3. https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar6/wg1/downloads/faqs/IPCC_AR6_WGI_FAQs.pdf
  4. https://interactive-atlas.ipcc.ch/
  5. https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar6/wg1/downloads/faqs/IPCC_AR6_WGI_FAQs.pdf
  6. https://www.ipcc.ch/report/sixth-assessment-report-working-group-i/
  7. https://www.ipcc.ch/about/preparingreports/
  8. https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar6/wg1/#SPM
  9. https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar6/wg1/downloads/report/IPCC_AR6_WGI_SPM.pdf
  10. https://www.ipcc.ch/2021/08/09/ar6-wg1-20210809-pr/
  11. https://www.ipcc.ch/about/history/
  12. https://www.carbonbrief.org/in-depth-qa-the-ipccs-sixth-assessment-report-on-climate-science





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