The 2021 IPCC Report Is Concerning

The 2021 IPCC Report Is Concerning

Srishti Singh, SSIS

The United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change or the IPCC, a body that was established to provide assessments of climate change, released the first chapter of its report on the 9th of August 2021. This report was authored by over two hundred scientists from 66 countries and has been perceived as a red alert by several experts. The findings of the report state that global warming is occurring at a pace faster than what was perceived which is extremely harmful for the earth’s ecosystem (Hood & Galey, 2021).

A depiction of Global Warming. Retrieved from http://goldenageofgaia.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/global-warming.jpeg

Global Warming is a naturally occurring phenomenon by which there is a gradual increase in the earth’s temperature. However, while it is natural for there to be a slight increase in the Earth’s temperature over a period of time, human activities have led to an acceleration in this rise in temperature which is leading to devastating effects. According to the IPCC report, the Earth’s temperature is projected to see an increase of 1.5 to 1.6 degree Celsius by 2030, which is a decade prior to initial predictions (Hood & Galey, 2021). The report also indicates that the rising sea levels are irreversible for hundreds to thousands of years ("Climate change widespread, rapid, and intensifying – IPCC — IPCC", 2021).

The report mentions several other changes such as the over saturation of carbon sinks like trees, that absorb carbon dioxide, which has led to these trees absorbing lesser CO2 than anticipated and the amount of CO2 absorbed by these trees is said to further decline over the years. The report also indicates an increase in the levels of Methane in the atmosphere which is another harmful gas that causes global warming (Hood & Galey, 2021). The other changes indicated in the report are increased ocean acidification, an increase in heatwaves, loss of seasonal snow in some reasons as well as an accelerated rate of the melting of glaciers, decreased rainfall in some regions and intense rainfall in others ("Climate change widespread, rapid, and intensifying – IPCC — IPCC", 2021). The blame for all these changes rests solely on human activities. Most of these changes are irreversible in nature and the damage caused by them will have lasting effects on not just human beings but on all the life forms inhabiting Earth.

The report states that the only way to counter global warming are sustained and strong reductions in the emission of greenhouse gases and Carbon Dioxide. Even then it would take up to eighty to hundred years for the rising temperature to stabilise ("Climate change widespread, rapid, and intensifying – IPCC — IPCC", 2021).  Several notable public figures such as Gina McCarthy, Michael Bloomberg and Al Gore have spoken up on the emission calling for urgent action to be taken in order to curb climate change through concrete plans and the implementation of strict actions on the same by the world leaders. The impact of climate change may not seem to be as evident now but it is set to only get worse with time and as long as there is no immediate action there may be no end to climate change.

References

Hood, M., & Galey, P. (2021). No good news here: Key IPCC findings on climate change. Retrieved 12 August 2021, from https://phys.org/news/2021-08-good-news-key-ipcc-climate.html

Climate change widespread, rapid, and intensifying – IPCC — IPCC. (2021). Retrieved 12 August 2021, from https://www.ipcc.ch/2021/08/09/ar6-wg1-20210809-pr/

Pulver, D. (2021). Reversing climate change? What scientists and activists are saying about UN's 'code red' report. Retrieved 12 August 2021, from https://news.yahoo.com/reversing-climate-change-scientists-activists-015032024.html?fr=sycsrp_catchall