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UN climate report: Earth has ‘Nowhere to run, Nowhere to hide’

Aug 09, 2021

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The world’s leading climate scientists delivered a dire warning about the deepening climate emergency saying some of the changes already set in motion are thought to be “irreversible” for centuries to come.

The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a report Monday  that warns in about a decade, the Earth’s temperature would likely exceed levels world leaders had set in the Paris climate agreement.

The video above shows IPCC Chair Hoesung Lee and World Meteorological Organization Secretary-General Petteri Taalas discussing the report.

U.N. Secretary-General, António Guterres described the report as “a code red for humanity.”

“First, it tells us that it is indisputable that human activities are causing climate change and making extreme weather events more frequent and severe,” IPCC Chair Lee said. “Second, it shows that climate change is affecting every region on our planet. And lastly, it explains that strong, rapid, sustained reductions in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions would be required to limit global warming.”

Each of the report’s five scenarios for the future passes the more stringent of two temperature thresholds set in the 2015 Paris climate agreement.

In the agreement, world leaders promised to try to limit warming to 2.7 degrees from where it was in the late 19th century.

According to the report, warming has ramped up in recent years. The world has already warmed nearly 2 degrees in the past 150 years.

“The report published today echoes the same messages with much higher urgency,” Secretary-General Taalas said. “Climate change is already more visible and the emissions have grown more rapidly than we ever expected in 1979.”

Other highlights from the report:

  • Climate change is intensifying the water cycle. This could mean more intense rainfall and flooding, as well as more intense drought in many regions.
  • Climate change is affecting rainfall patterns. This could mean more rain in the northern hemisphere, and less in large parts of the subtropics.
  • Coastal areas will see continued sea level rise throughout the 21st century. This would also lead to more frequent and severe coastal flooding, particularly in low-lying areas. Extreme sea level events that previously occurred once in 100 years could happen every year by the end of this century.
  • Some aspects of climate change may be amplified in cities. This includes more intense heat, flooding from heavy rain events, and a sea level rise in coastal cities.
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Hoesung Lee, IPCC Chair: “This report, Climate Change 2021, the physical science basis, expands our knowledge of attribution of climate change, including the human contribution to extreme weather events and it provides us with an improved understanding of climate change, including the warming, past, present and future. First, it tells us that it is indisputable that human activities are causing climate change and making extreme weather events more frequent and severe. Second, it shows that climate change is affecting every region on our planet. And lastly, it explains that strong, rapid, sustained reductions in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions would be required to limit global warming.”

“This report will serve as a timely new evidence base for negotiators at the COP26 negotiations starting in less than three months. It will be a valuable tool box for negotiators as they consider the level of ambition at COP 26.”

Petteri Taalas, World Meteorological Organization Secretary-General: “The report published today echoes the same messages with much higher urgency. Climate change is already more visible and the emissions have grown more rapidly than we ever expected in 1979.”


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