The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has held human beings responsible for the fact that climate change is affecting all inhabited regions of the world and causing extreme weather events, such as heat waves, heavy rainfall, droughts and tropical cyclones, become more frequent.
This is shown by the sixth Assessment Report on Climate Change, which is made up of three parts and a synthesis report, published this Monday, August 9 by the IPCC, based in Geneva (Switzerland).
Research reveals that extreme heat, including heat waves, has become “more frequent and intense” in most regions of the Earth since the 1950s, while extreme cold, including cold waves, it has become “less frequent and severe”.
Climate experts who have produced the report, which will be delivered in four parts until 2022, relate that episodes of extreme rainfall have occurred with more frequency and intensity in most of the land area since 1950.
In addition, the research highlights that major tropical cyclones have increased over the past four decades and the latitude where tropical cyclones in the western North Pacific peak has shifted northward.
THE RISE IN TEMPERATURE WILL EXCEED 1.5 DEGREES
In the report, the scientists warn that, unless there are large reductions in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions in the coming decades, the increase in global temperatures will exceed the threshold established in the Paris Agreement.
In the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, countries set a goal of staying below 2 degrees, and preferably 1.5 degrees, above pre-industrial levels.
If these levels are not maintained, experts conclude that extreme weather, as well as droughts and floods, will become even more common and sea levels will rise, Arctic ice will decrease, and many plants and animals “will not be able to adapt.” to these changes.
In this sense, the IPCC report underlines that limiting the increase in temperature to these levels requires “urgent and drastic action”, since otherwise global surface temperatures “will continue to rise until at least mid-century in all countries. emission scenarios considered “.
The IPCC refers to simulations of new climate models that assess the impact of various future annual emission rates, from very high to very low. Thus, in the scenario of highest emissions, the global temperature was set to rise to 5.7 degrees by the end of the century; and in the lowest emissions scenario, the number could remain between 1 and 1.8 degrees by 2100 compared to pre-industrial levels.
For climate scientists, global warming of 1.5 degrees and 2 degrees will be exceeded during the 21st century “unless there are large reductions in CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions in the coming decades.”
GUTERRES DEMANDS THE COUNTRIES “FAST AND DRASTIC” MEASURES
Faced with this “alarming situation”, the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, has demanded that politicians take “swift and drastic” measures. “The alarm bells are deafening and the evidence is irrefutable,” he has sentenced.
In his words, this report must be a “death sentence” for coal and fossil fuels, before they “destroy” the planet. “If we combine forces now, we can avoid a climate catastrophe,” he said.
In doing so, Guterres has appealed to rich countries and development banks to provide more money for adaptation to climate change in the poorest parts of the world. “The promise to raise $ 100 billion a year must be kept,” he said.
As for the melting of the poles, the IPCC warns that glaciers will continue to melt for decades or centuries, while during the 21st century the Greenland ice sheet is “practically certain” that it will continue to melt and it is “likely” that the same will occur. same with the Antarctic ice sheet.
On sea level rise, scientists predict that the rise will continue throughout the 21st century and that extreme sea level events that occurred once a century in the past could occur annually at various locations in 2100.
On the other hand, the report emphasizes that, with a “high probability”, a warming of 1.5 degrees will “intensify” the heavy rainfall and floods in Africa and Asia. This increase in rainfall and flooding is likely to be “medium to high” in North America and “medium” in Europe. In this sense, scientists predict that the magnitude of the change in the coming decades will increase as temperatures rise.
The document also highlights the “high probability” that monsoon rainfall will increase in the medium and long term, especially in South and Southeast Asia, East Asia and West Africa, except in the extreme western Sahel.
Regarding droughts, the IPCC predicts that, at 2 degrees of global warming or more, several regions of Africa, South America and Europe will experience an increase in the frequency and / or severity of agricultural and ecological droughts with a probability ” medium to high “. Increases in droughts are also expected in Australasia, Central America, North America and the Caribbean with a “medium” probability.
As for the increase in temperatures in cities, scientists warn that greater urbanization coupled with more frequent extreme heat events “will increase the severity of heat waves.” Experts note that coastal cities may also experience more flooding due to rising sea levels and more torrential rainfall.