The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has today released a 42-page document detailing humanity’s harmful impact on the environment.
One of the report’s authors Professor Ed Hawkins said: “It is a statement of fact, we cannot be any more certain; it is unequivocal and indisputable that humans are warming the planet”.
It is hoped the findings of the report will influence policy change due to be made at COP26, a series of UN climate talks taking place between representatives from 197 countries in Glasgow this November.
UN Secretary-General, António Guterres said: “Today’s IPCC Working Group 1 Report is a code red for humanity… If we combine forces now, we can avert climate catastrophe. But, as today’s report makes clear, there is no time for delay and no room for excuses. I count on governmental leaders and all stakeholders to ensure COP26 is a success”.
However, IPCC scientists believe some of the long-term effects of global warming are irreversible. Even if we manage to meet the terms of the Paris climate agreement struck in 2015, in which targets were set for no more than a 1.5 °C rise, impacts such as rising sea levels, ocean temperatures increasing, and the melting of Arctic ice may be inevitable.
Two further reports will be released next year, focussing on both the impacts and potential solutions of the climate crisis.