According to the UN’s newest assessment, many of the effects of global warming are now “irreversible.” Humans and the natural ecosystem are being pushed beyond their ability to adapt, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and over 40% of the world’s population is “highly vulnerable” to climate change. This latest UN research, released just four months after COP26, where world leaders vowed to swift action on climate change, demonstrates the enormity of the challenge that lies ahead for us.
“Our report clearly indicates that places where people live and work may cease to exist, that ecosystems and species that we’ve all grown up with and that are central to our cultures and inform our languages may disappear,” said Prof Debra Roberts, co-chair of the IPCC.
“So this is really a key moment. Our report points out very clearly, this is the decade of action, if we are going to turn things around.”
This is the second of three reports from the IPCC, the world’s foremost group of climate scientists. The first installment, released in August of 2021, underlined the magnitude of human impact on the climate system.
Climate change’s sources, effects, and remedies are examined in this new report. It provides the clearest picture yet of how a warmer world affects all living species on the planet. The study provides a sobering depiction of the world’s already dire repercussions, such as an increase in the number of people dying from heat.
However, the authors claim that there is still a small window of opportunity to mitigate the worst-case scenario.
According to Dr Helen Adams, a lead author on the report from King’s College, London, “One of the things that I think is really, really clear in the report is that yes, things are bad, but actually, the future depends on us, not the climate,”
While everyone is impacted, some people are hurt particularly severely. This result is very dependent on where you live. Floods, droughts, and storms killed 15 times more people in particularly susceptible countries like Africa, South Asia, and Central and South America between 2010 and 2020 than in other parts of the globe.
The analysis demonstrates that extreme weather events connected to climate change, such as floods and heat waves, are wreaking havoc on people and other animals far more severely than past estimates suggested.
According to the latest study, these effects are already outpacing many people’s capacity to cope.