Planet is Warming More Rapidly than Previously Thought by Scientists
A stark warning was delivered by IPCC, who said that the Earth is finding itself in a deepening climate emergency.
A highly anticipated report by the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change delivered the starkest message on Monday: The world is warming faster than previously thought, and the Earth will see irreversible change at its tipping point without immediate action.
The report said that limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius or even 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels will be “beyond reach” in the next two decades without immediate, rapid and large-scale reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
As a bit of a debrief: the 1.5 degrees Celsius threshold is a crucial global target because beyond this level, so-called “tipping points” become more likely. Tipping points refer to an irreversible change in the climate system, locking in further global heating.
At 2 degrees Celsius of global warming, the report says heat extremes would often reach critical tolerance thresholds for agriculture and health.
What does the IPCC attribute this grave situation to? Human influence. The panel said that it is “unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, ocean and land.” In fact, human-induced climate change is already happening—impacting many weather and climate extremes in every region across the globe with heatwaves, heavy precipitation, droughts and tropic cyclones.
The IPCC urges policymakers across the globe to implement policies that can help to reduce cumulative CO2 emissions. A PDF from the panel explains that, from a physical science perspective, limiting human-induced global warming to a specific level requires limiting cumulative CO2 emissions, reaching net zero CO2 emissions, along with strong reductions in other greenhouse gas emissions.