Climate change: IPCC report is ‘code red for humanity’

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Humanity’s damaging impact on the climate is a “statement of fact”, say UN scientists in a landmark study. The report says that ongoing emissions of warming gases could also see a key temperature limit broken in just over a decade. The authors also show that a rise in sea levels approaching 2m by the end of this century “cannot be ruled out”. But there is new hope that deep cuts in emissions of greenhouse gases could stabilise rising temperatures.

This sober assessment from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) features in a 42-page document known as the Summary for Policymakers. In strong, confident tones, the IPCC’s document says “it is unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, oceans and land”. “It is a statement of fact, we cannot be any more certain; it is unequivocal and indisputable that humans are warming the planet.”

The new report also makes clear that the warming we’ve experienced to date has made changes to many of our planetary support systems that are irreversible on timescales of centuries to millennia. The oceans will continue to warm and become more acidic. Mountain and polar glaciers will continue melting for decades or centuries. “The consequences will continue to get worse for every bit of warming,” said Prof Hawkins. “And for many of these consequences, there’s no going back.”

Article URL : https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-58130705

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