© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Clouds accumulate but produce no rain when cracks are seen in the dry municipal dam in Graaff-Reinet, South Africa, November 14, 2019. REUTERS / Mike Hutchings / File photo
By Nina Chestney
LONDON (Reuters) – Eight years after its latest update on climate science, the United Nations will release a report on Monday that is likely to offer even strong warnings about how quickly the planet is warming and how damaging the impacts could be.
Since the last report https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5/syr of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2013, both greenhouse gas emissions and average global temperature have only followed increasing.
The new report will forecast how many more emissions can be pumped into the atmosphere before the average global temperature rises more than 1.5 degrees Celsius. That revised carbon budget can serve as a guide for governments as they map out their own emission reduction plans ahead of a major UN climate conference in November.
Scientists say the world must halve global emissions by 2030 and cut them to zero by 2050 in order to avoid global warming above 1.5 ° C, which could trigger catastrophic impacts around the world.
But climate change is already causing a deadly and disastrous climate around the world. Almost all the glaciers in the world are melting faster. Hurricanes are stronger. This year alone, record rains caused flooding in parts of central China and Europe, while wildfires raged across Siberia, the western US and the Mediterranean.
“The report will cover not only the fact that we are breaking record after record in terms of climate change impacts, but it will show that the world today is in uncharted territory in terms of sea level rise and ice cover.” said Kelly Levin, head of science, data and systems change at the Bezos Earth Fund philanthropy.
Overall, the report “will underscore the urgency for governments to accelerate climate action,” he said.
And while the 2013 report said it was “extremely likely” that human industry was causing climate change, suggesting that scientists were at least 95% confident in that statement, this year’s report will likely use language even stronger.
“Obviously it will be stronger than what we had in the past due to increasing global warming,” said Corinne Le Quéré, a climate scientist at the University of East Anglia who has contributed to previous IPCC assessments.
“That will be one of the main points. It will be discussed very, very carefully and analyzed,” Le Quéré told reporters.
WHAT IS THE IPCC?
Since its establishment in 1988, the IPCC has published five assessment reports that update the established science on climate change, its impacts, future risks, and ways of addressing the problems.
But the IPCC itself is not made up of scientists. The panel includes government representatives from 195 countries who commission evaluations from experts and academics from around the world.
When writing those assessments, scientists consider thousands of individual studies published since the last IPCC report. To finalize their latest assessments for the next report, the scientists have been meeting virtually with lawmakers since July 26, discussing the details and language used in the draft.
Governments can suggest changes to the text, but they must be agreed upon by consensus. Next, scientists must ensure that the changes are consistent with the scientific evidence.
Monday’s report is actually only part of what will be included in the final Sixth Assessment Report, or AR6, when it is published in 2022.
The AR6 synthesis report will also include two other important chapters to be published next year: one on the impacts of climate change on communities, societies and economies and how they could adapt to cope, and another on ways to curb emissions. and control climate change. And it will include the results of three special reports published since 2013, on the 1.5 ° C threshold https://www.ipcc.ch/sr15, on the world’s oceans and icy regions https: //www.ipcc. ch / srocc, and on land use and degradation https://www.ipcc.ch/srccl.
But Monday’s chapter is one of the most anticipated, particularly after being delayed for months due to the COVID pandemic. Unlike the previous assessments, the chapter will use five possible emission trajectories that the world could follow instead of the four previous scenarios.
“The emissions scenarios are not intended to say, ‘This is the future – pick one,'” said Ko Barrett, IPCC vice chairman. “Policies are implemented all the time and science changes all the time, so it is not fair to say that we are on a certain trajectory.”