New IPCC report paints grim picture of climate realities – The Campus

As political strife at home and abroad captures our attention and energy, the dial of the looming doomsday clock of climate change creeps ever closer to midnight.
Now, despite many new intergovernmental initiatives on the issue in recent years, the projections are deteriorating considerably.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the United Nations body tasked with monitoring and advancing our understanding of climate change, has released the second installment of its report for the sixth assessment round.
Since 1988, the IPCC has engaged a team of experts to analyze and synthesize scientific research on climate change, including an in-depth independent review, to present governments with a comprehensive understanding of the current and future drivers and impacts of our climate, and to offer possible solutions and mitigation measures.
The IPCC operates on the basis of three working groups and one task force, sometimes including smaller working groups on specific emerging issues, which produce its reports on a cyclical basis. The stream of the current report finalized on Monday was created by the second working group, which focuses on climate change impacts, adaptation and vulnerability.
This report paints a bleak picture of the future of our planet. According to the official IPCC press release: “The world will face multiple unavoidable climate hazards over the next two decades with global warming of 1.5 degrees C (2.7 degrees F). Even a temporary exceedance of this level of warming will result in severe additional impacts, some of which will be irreversible. Risks to society will increase, including to low-lying coastal infrastructure and settlements.
The report describes how tedious the line we draw between continued destruction or preservation of the planet really is.
Although some of the effects may already be irreversible, the main element in halting the decline of our ecosystems is global warming itself.
“We are losing living spaces for species, and for ourselves too, because with climate change parts of the planet will become uninhabitable,” said Hans-Otto Pörtner, a German climate researcher and co-chair of the IPCC, in a statement. interview with the Washington Post.
The report warns that as global warming increases beyond the current point, we are at greater risk of “tipping points” that could lead us towards the end of our civilisation. A tipping point is defined by the IPCC as a “critical threshold beyond which a system reorganizes, often abruptly and/or irreversibly”.
One of the possible tipping points in this and previous reports is the collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, a region of the Antarctic continent. As the slick is rapidly deteriorating, if it collapses, it could trigger a feedback loop that would cause widespread collapse of land ice and significantly raise sea levels.
In addition to tackling the current and future effects of climate change, the IPCC is also trying to find ways to tackle the underlying problem that will be the ongoing responsibility of scientists and policymakers around the world.
In an attempt to appeal to the international community, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres spoke candidly about the political and social implications of the report.
“Today’s IPCC report is an atlas of human suffering and a damning condemnation of failed climate leadership,” said António Guterres. “With fact upon fact, this report reveals how people and the planet are being beset by climate change. Nearly half of humanity lives in the danger zone – now. Many ecosystems are at the point of no return – now. Unchecked carbon pollution is forcing the world’s most vulnerable on a frog march towards destruction – now. The facts are undeniable. This abdication of leadership is criminal.
As communities in the Global South already face the devastating effects of climate change in the form of natural disasters, calls for support and reparations from industrialized countries have become more pronounced.
Displacement is a current and growing problem highlighted in the report, and with it, class inequalities are expected to worsen.
Sarah Kaplan, climate and science reporter for The Washington Post, spoke more about where the effects of climate change will be felt the most.
“About 80% of those at risk of hunger in worst-case warming scenarios will live in Asia and Africa,” Kaplan said. “People in low- and middle-income countries, especially those in rural areas, are most likely to be displaced by extreme weather… Higher temperatures are linked to increased rates of violence against women and girls. People with disabilities are less able to evacuate from increasing natural disasters. Indigenous communities will suffer disproportionately as extinctions alter sacred landscapes and deplete traditional food sources.
Another issue is the generational disparity and responsibility that exists in promoting climate action. Through the timeline of the report, it is clear that those currently in positions of power on climate action will not see the brunt of the effects in their lifetime.
Younger and future generations will inherit the brunt of the effects, contributing to the frustrations young activists feel over what they perceive as a lack of urgency for the political status quo on climate issues.
Even on the international stage, with the seriousness and validity that the latest IPCC report and previous IPCC reports have brought with them, it remains to be seen how governments and institutions will choose to devote themselves to adapting to our realities. future climate.

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