- Title: U.N. sounds clarion call over 'irreversible' climate impacts by humans
- Date: 9th August 2021
- Summary: OXFORD, UNITED KINGDOM (AUGUST 8, 2021) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (English) IPCC AUTHOR, CLIMATE SCIENTIST AT THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD AND CO-LEADER OF THE WORLD WEATHER ATTRIBUTION, FRIEDERIKE OTTO, SAYING: "There is no denying that some of the impacts are irreversible on centuries, on timescales of centuries to come. And this is really important to know, also that climate change is a fact, it's already happening, it's no matter what not going to go away, so adapting to climate change is something as a policy maker you would probably want to keep in mind." ELLINICA, EVIA, GREECE (AUGUST 8, 2021) (REUTERS) AIRCRAFT DUMPING WATER ON WOODED AREA BELOW VARIOUS OF SMOKE RISING OXFORD, UNITED KINGDOM (AUGUST 8, 2021) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (English) IPCC AUTHOR, CLIMATE SCIENTIST AT THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD AND CO-LEADER OF THE WORLD WEATHER ATTRIBUTION, FRIEDERIKE OTTO, SAYING: "And so if we stop warming at 1.5 degrees, then we will also stop many of these extremes from getting worse. And I think that while we are committed to some changes, particularly sea level rise, glacial melt, still to come for many decades, we can slow these changes down and we can stop many of the others from getting worse by urgently and drastically reducing CO2 emissions in the next decade."
- Embargoed: 23rd August 2021 09:14
- Keywords: IPCC United Nations climate change global warming greenhouse gas report
- Location: VARIOUS LOCATION
- City: VARIOUS LOCATION
- Country: Switzerland
- Topics: Climate Change,Climate Policy and Regulation,Environment,Europe,General News
- Reuters ID: LVA003EPK6UKN
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: The U.N. climate panel sounded a dire warning on Monday (August 9), saying the world is dangerously close to runaway warming - and that humans are "unequivocally" to blame.
Greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere are already high enough to guarantee climate disruption for decades if not centuries, scientists warn in a report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
That's on top of the deadly heat waves, powerful hurricanes and other weather extremes that are happening now and are likely to become more severe.
The IPCC report comes just three months before a major U.N. climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland, where nations will be under pressure to pledge ambitious climate action and substantial financing.
Drawing on more than 14,000 scientific studies, the report gives the most comprehensive and detailed picture yet of how climate change is altering the natural world -- and what could still be ahead.
Unless immediate, rapid and large-scale action is taken to reduce emissions, the report says, the average global temperature will likely cross the 1.5-degree Celsius warming threshold within the next 20 years.
So far, nations' pledges to cut emissions have been inadequate for bringing down the level of greenhouse gases accumulated in the atmosphere.
Emissions "unequivocally caused by human activities" have pushed today's average global temperature 1.1C higher than the pre-industrial average -- and would have pushed it 0.5C further if not for the tempering effect of pollution in the atmosphere, the report says.
That means that, as societies transition away from fossil fuels, much of the aerosols in the air would vanish -- and temperatures could spike.
Scientists warn that warming more than 1.5C above the pre-industrial average could trigger runaway climate change with catastrophic impacts, such as heat so intense that crops fail or people die just from being outdoors.
Every additional 0.5C of warming will also boost the intensity and frequency of heat extremes and heavy rainfall, as well as droughts in some regions. Because temperatures fluctuate from year to year, scientists measure climate warming in terms of 20-year averages.
The 1.1C warming already recorded has been enough to unleash disastrous weather. This year, heat waves killed hundreds in the Pacific Northwest and smashed records around the world. Wildfires fuelled by heat and drought are sweeping away entire towns in the U.S. West, releasing record emissions from Siberian forests, and driving Greeks to flee their lands by ferry.
(Production: Cecile Mantovani)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2021. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None