BREAKING: New Climate Report Warns Time Is Running Out

Climate change is, rapid, intensifying, and in some places, irreversible.

On Monday, the IPCC released their latest landmark climate change report. It is a stark, sobering, and terrifying warning about the reality of climate change; we are running out of time. 

Climate change and global warming is happening much faster than previously thought. We must take action now, or say goodbye to the world as we know it forever.

This report is “a code red for humanity”. – Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations

IPCC Climate Report

‘Changing’ by artist Alisa Singer 

Who is the IPCC?

The IPCC (The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) is a body of the United Nations. The IPCC was created to provide governments and policymakers with scientific assessments on climate change, its implications and potential future risks.

The First Report Of Its Kind In 8 Years - a lot can change in 8 years

Every seven years or so, the IPCC releases a report showing us essentially, the “state of the climate”. This new report is the world’s largest report on climate change ever to be published. 234 scientists from all over the world read over 14,000 research papers to write this report – summarising the most up-to-date, peer-reviewed research on the science of climate change, its effects, and ways to adapt to and mitigate it.

What Does The Report Say?

The IPCC report is a grim warning showing the climate extremes that are already happening and the likelihood of further extremes and catastrophes happening in the near future. 

The report states that human activity is unequivocally responsible for the climate crisis and global warming. Some of the changes to our climate are now irreversible and will last for centuries, if not thousands of years into the future.

The report shows us that the strategies proposed at the Paris Agreement are not enough and that, globally, we have failed to even reach near the committed curbs on emissions. Greenhouse gas emissions needed to be halved immediately to limit heating to 1.5C (1.5C deemed as ‘catastrophic’).

“Climate change is already affecting every region on Earth, in multiple ways. The changes we experience will increase with additional warming,” said IPCC Working Group I Co-Chair Panmao Zhai.

But it is not just about temperature. Climate change is bringing multiple different changes in different regions – which will all increase with further warming (Many of these changes will be amplified in cities and urban areas). These include changes to wetness and dryness, to winds, snow and ice, coastal areas, and oceans. For example:

  • More intense rainfall
  • More severe flooding
  • Sea level rise
  • More intense droughts
  • Changes to monsoon precipitation
  • Melting glaciers, ice sheets, and loss of
  • Arctic summer sea ice
  • More frequent marine heatwaves
  • Ocean acidification (These changes affect both ocean ecosystems and the people that rely on them)

Extreme sea-level events that previously occurred once in 100 years could happen every year by the end of this century.

IPCC Climate Report

Why Is This Report Important?

This report is a stark wake-up call for all of us, but, most importantly, will be used by governing bodies around the world to make important decisions regarding climate change.

The IPCC essentially provides governments with a CliffsNotes version of thousands of papers published regarding the science, risks, and social and economic components of climate change.

Key Takeaways

    • Changes in the climate are widespread, rapid and intensifying. They are unprecedented in thousands of years.
    • Some changes that have already happened are irreversible. However, some can be slowed and others can be stopped by limiting warming.
    • Human activities are indisputably causing climate change. Making heat waves, heavy rainfall and droughts, more frequent and severe.
    • Climate change is already affecting multiple regions in many ways. These changes will increase with further warming.
  • Unless there is immediate and large-scale greenhouse gas emissions reduction, limiting warming to 1.5c will be beyond reach.

Extreme sea-level events that previously occurred once in 100 years could happen every year by the end of this century.

We Need To Make The Climate Crisis A Priority

As we approach the 3rd year of the coronavirus pandemic, it’s clear that covid is not going anywhere, any time soon. The coronavirus pandemic is scary, urgent and must be acted upon, but if we focus all of our attention on the pandemic, we lose sight of the climate crisis and the literal potential downfall of humanity which will claim many more lives than Covid-19. We cannot put the climate crisis and the future of our planet on the back seat whilst we try to deal with the coronavirus; every day that we do nothing, more irreversible changes are happening.

This report tells us that a global catastrophe is coming. The severity of it depends on what we do now.

It's Happening Already...

This year has been one of the worst in recent history for climate disasters and weather catastrophes. 

IPCC Climate Report

Source: The Independant

Turn on the news today and you will see reports of:

  • Wildfires raging across Europe and North America as scorching temperatures and dry conditions fuel the blazes that have cost lives and destroyed livelihoods.
  • Death tolls rising from the fatal floods in Germany and Belgium
  • Deadly floods and typhoons in China
  • Severe cyclones in North India

What Can We Do?

Many of the most important changes that we need to see, will come from the world’s governments. This can make us feel like important change is out of our hands, but we hold a huge amount of power simply in our food choices.

If switching to a plant-based diet is the single biggest act we can take to reduce our environmental impact”, then why are we not all doing it? 

What we have for breakfast and dinner can seem so disconnected from intense weather catastrophes and the world’s climate breakdown, but switching to a plant-based diet is the biggest thing we have the power to change. And we don’t need to wait for government legislation to pass to make this change. We can do it TODAY. 

IPCC Climate Report

Credit: KristofferTigue/InsideClimate News

We are not talking about those who do not have the means to make this change. We are talking about everyone else. Those who have the option to pick up plant-based meat instead of animal meat in the supermarket. Even those who cannot afford plant-based meat, but can afford plant-based whole foods like rice and beans.

One meal a week is not enough. One meal a day is not enough. The same way governments need to use this report to urgently pass climate policy, we also need to take as much action as we can on an individual level.

Make diet change your personal, urgent policy change.

It is our responsibility to do everything that we can and to do it now. We no longer have time to argue that our taste buds matter more than the future of our planet. 

We no longer have time to do anything other than everything that we possibly can.

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