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IPCC 6 th annual assessment report

Every 6-7 years, the International Panel on Climate Change publishes its assessment of our changing climate. The scientists assess thousands of documents published since the last report and then summarise their conclusions in 3 parts. So these assessments are the best possible source for determining what policies should be evolved to limit our changing climate.

In August 2021, the scientists in Group 1 concluded that ‘the climate was changing and that these changes were induced by human activity’. This conclusion formed the basis of the decision in November in Glasgow at the Annual Climate Change Conference that ‘greenhouse gas emissions would need to be halved in this decade to prevent irreversible changes in climate’.

In their most recent report released in March this year, the scientists in Group 2 concluded that

  • climate changes are accelerating rapidly
  • many of the impacts will be more severe than predicted
  • more immediate actions were required to avoid even greater extremes in weather

In the UK, we have already experienced 3 very severe storms in recent years of which the first occurred in 1987 and the most recent a few weeks ago so each of us have experienced at first hand how our climate is changing

Recent storm damage in Yateley

The IPCC scientists concluded that about half the world’s population live in areas that are highly vulnerable to climate change. And that the most severe effects will be on crops for growing food and access to clean water due to the changing seasons as already some 10% of the world’s population has to go without at least one meal per day.

Loss of biodiversity is affecting key ecosystems and resulting in loss of species. To restore such ecosystems they concluded that this will require between one third and one half of the Earth’s land to be restored to its natural habitat.

According to the IPCC authors, many countries are not well prepared nor adapted for further changes in climate. They concluded that additional actions will be required involving housing, transport, agriculture and energy supplies.

As John Kerry, the US’s Special Climate Envoy observed ‘this report presents a dire picture of a warmer world and the terrible risks to our planet if we continue to ignore science. We have seen the increase in climate-fuelled extreme events and the damage that has been left behind – lives lost and livelihoods ruined. The over riding question is whether each of us will act now to avoid the worst consequences’.



 

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