- Title: Atmosphere needs greenhouse gas cut, U.N. warns on climate impacts by humans
- Date: 9th August 2021
- Summary: BEIJING, CHINA (FILE - DECEMBER 2, 2018) (REUTERS) BEIJING CITY SKYLINE IN SMOG TRAFFIC IN SMOG BUILDINGS UNDER CONSTRUCTION SHROUDED IN SMOG TRAFFIC UNDER SURVEILLANCE CAMERA
- Embargoed: 23rd August 2021 12:35
- Keywords: IPCC United Nations WMO climate change extremes global warming report
- Location: VARIOUS LOCATIONS
- City: VARIOUS LOCATIONS
- Country: Various
- Topics: Climate Change,Climate Policy and Regulation,Environment,General News
- Reuters ID: LVA003EPK6W5J
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: The U.N. climate panel and World Meteorological Organisation Secretary-General chief sounded a dire warning Monday (August 9), saying the world is dangerously close to being out of control - and that humans are indisputably responsible.
Already, greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere are high enough to guarantee climate disruption for decades if not centuries, the report from the scientists of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned.
In other words, the deadly heat waves, gargantuan hurricanes and other weather extremes that are already happening will only become more severe.
In three months' time, the U.N. COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland, will try to wring much more ambitious climate action out of the nations of the world, and the money to go with it.
Drawing on more than 14,000 scientific studies, the IPCC 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 is likely to reach or cross the 1.5-degree Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) warming threshold within 20 years.
The report says emissions "unequivocally caused by human activities" have already pushed the average global temperature up 1.1C from its pre-industrial average - and would have raised it 0.5C further without the tempering effect of pollution in the atmosphere.
That means that, even as societies move away from fossil fuels, temperatures will be pushed up again by the loss of the airborne pollutants that come with them and currently reflect away some of the sun's heat.
A rise of 1.5C is generally seen as the most that humanity could cope with without suffering widespread economic and social upheaval.
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 carbon dioxide emissions from Siberian forests, and driving Greeks to flee their homes by ferry.
(Production: Cecile Mantovani)
- Copyright Holder: FILE REUTERS (CAN SELL)
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2021. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None