A new report explores several factors related to the climate crisis: from CO2 emissions, global temperature rise and climate predictions, to “tipping points”, urban climate change, extreme weather impacts and early warning systems.
One of the key conclusions of the report is that far more ambitious action is needed, if we are to avoid the physical and socioeconomic impacts of climate change having an increasingly devastating effect on the planet.
Cities, hosting billions of people, are responsible for up to 70 per cent of human-caused emissions: they will face increasing socio-economic impacts, the brunt of which will be faced by the most vulnerable populations.
In order to achieve the goal of the Paris Agreement, namely keeping global temperature rises to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, greenhouse gas emission reduction pledges need to be seven times higher, says the report.
High chance of climate ‘tipping point’
If the world reaches a climate “tipping point”, we will be faced with irreversible changes to the climate system. The report says that this cannot be ruled out: the past seven years were the warmest on record, and there is almost a 50-50 chance that, in the next five years, the annual mean temperature will temporarily be 1.5°C higher than the 1850-1900 average.
The report’s authors point to the recent, devastating floods in Pakistan, which have seen up to a third of the country underwater, as an example of the extreme weather events in different parts of the world this year.
Other examples include prolonged and severe droughts in China, the Horn of Africa and the United States, wildfires, and major storms.
Climate science is increasingly able to show that many of the extreme weather events that we are experiencing have become more likely and more intense due to human-induced climate change.
Source: UN News