The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the United Nations body for assessing the science related to climate change, released a report yesterday that concluded that human-induced climate change is causing dangerous and widespread disruption in nature and affecting the lives of billions of people around the world, despite efforts to reduce the risks.
According to the IPCC report, the world at a tipping point in terms of that threat climate change poses to human and planetary health. “This report is a dire warning about the consequences of inaction,” said Hoesung Lee, chair of the IPCC. “It shows that climate change is a grave and mounting threat to our wellbeing and a healthy planet. Our actions today will shape how people adapt and nature responds to increasing climate risks.”
The IPCC report noted that the world faces unavoidable multiple climate hazards over the next two decades with global warming of 1.5°C (2.7°F). Even temporarily exceeding this warming level will result in additional severe impacts, some of which will be irreversible. Climate Action is one of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Among the risks are increased heatwaves, droughts, and floods are already that are exceeding the tolerance of plants and animals. These weather extremes are occurring simultaneously, causing cascading impacts that are increasingly difficult to manage. In particular, these weather-related changes are causing acute food and water insecurity for millions of people.
The report says that to avoid mounting loss of life and adverse impacts on biodiversity, accelerated action is required to adapt to climate change, at the same time as making rapid, deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.
“This report recognizes the interdependence of climate, biodiversity and people and integrates natural, social and economic sciences more strongly than earlier IPCC assessments,” said Lee. “It emphasizes the urgency of immediate and more ambitious action to address climate risks. Half measures are no longer an option.”
Learn more about the Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability report.