The United Nation’s Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) of which India is one of the 195 members, has released its report on Monday titled ‘Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis’. This report is the sixth comprehensive assessment of Climate Change. UN General Secretary Antonio Guterres called the IPCC’s assessment as the most detailed review of climate science ever conducted, “code red for humanity”.
Scientists are noting changes in the Earth’s climate in every region, including the whole climate system. Several changes are already set in motion, including continuous rise in sea level, which is irreversible over hundreds to thousands of years. Although rapid-drastic cuts in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases can limit climate change. Even if by some miracle immediate steps are taken, it could still take 20-30 years to stabilize global temperatures, therefore benefits for air quality would come quickly.
Here are the some points of the IPCC report:
Global warming is caused by human activities. Human influence has warmed the land, sea and atmosphere. It is seen as the main driver of these changes. Therefore, scientists now quantify the contribution of humans to the magnitude and probability of many extreme events.
The world is warming faster and the global warming, which is likely to exceed the threshold of 1.5 degree Celsius is expected to be exceeded by 2040, that is it will surpass the 2015 Paris goal.
Sea levels are rising faster for hundreds or thousands of years. The average rate between 1901 to 1971 was 1.3 mm per year, this was beyond doubled to 3.7 mm per year from 2006 to 2018. Between 1901 to 2018, global mean sea level increased by 0.20 (0.15 to 0.25m)
Events of extreme heat, heavy rain and droughts will become more frequent and instense once-in-10-year and once-in-50-year.
Hot extreme heatwaves have become more frequent and intense across several regions since the 1950s, while extremes cold waves have become less severe and less frequent.
Cities have become hotspots of global warming because they trap heat and they lack in cooling areas such as water and vegetation.
Extreme weather crisis is likely to be of larger magnitude, with increased frequency, new locations, different timing. New combinations, meaning two or more extreme events coming together, for example heatwave and drought are also likely to happen.
Global warming, however can be limited by the end of this century but drastic and immediate cuts should be taken from now in burning fossil fuels and other activities that emit greenhouse gases.