Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development

This is the do-or-die decade for climate change, world scientists warn

August 9, 2021

By Durwood Zaelke & Dr Gabrielle Dreyfus

Time’s up, according to the world’s scientists who have just issued their starkest warning yet with the release of a climate science report for the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The report released Monday is the first installment of the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report (AR6), which will be finished in 2022. This installment, from Working Group 1, tackles the physical science basis of climate change. The report describes how little time is left to hit the brakes on warming and put the world on track to keep from breaching the 1.5 degrees Celsius threshold above pre-industrial temperature that scientists calculate can still keep the climate relatively safe. At a minimum, it is essential that we slow warming fast enough to keep the 1.5-degree target within sight, even with limited overshoot.

AR6 makes it clear that climate change is accelerating, and that every additional increment of climate pollution is causing irreversible harm. The record-shattering heatwaves and floods of the past month will become more and more frequent unless we slow the rate of warming.  We’re seeing self-reinforcing feedbacks starting to accelerate warming, and learning that we’re closer to crossing climate tipping points than previously thought. This includes news this week of weakening vital signs in the ocean’s heat conveyor belt, the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, with serious implications for sea-level rise along the Eastern United States, extreme weather shifts in Europe, and disruption of seasonal monsoons.

Continue reading at https://thehill.com/opinion/energy-environment/566960-this-is-the-do-or-die-decade-for-climate-change-world-scientists?rl=1

Originally published in The Hill, 09 August 2021