Nations have long ignored calls to slash the emission rate of greenhouse gas. They have delayed curbing the use of fossil fuels and shifting to more sustainable sources of energy. But their delay may have set the planet on the path of no return. A UN climate change report has concluded that a tiny window remains before things will be beyond human control.
We are already facing the consequences of the blatant ways in which we have repeatedly ignored calls for the last 50 years. The planet has already seen a rise of over 1.1C in the past 100 years. The UN climate change report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has warned that we need to drastically cut down on carbon emissions immediately.
The consequences of ignoring the call by the UN climate change report will be disastrous. It will lead to unsettling the climate system of the planet, severely disrupt the food structure, and lead to wide variation in weather conditions that will cause debilitating drought in some regions, and disruptive storms in others.
The Most Comprehensive And Alarming Report Yet
The report was written with the contribution of over 200 leading scientists. They warned that unless we go for an immediate, swift reduction of greenhouse gases on a massive scale, it will be impossible to limit warming within the 1.5C to 2C range.
The UN climate change report has been presaged as definitely the most inclusive ever analysis on climate change. It has been warned that by 2040, we could see global average temperatures reaching or even exceeding 1.5C.
It would bring about extreme weather patterns such as intense droughts and long dry seasons. The floods will also be more frequent and more intense with areas normally free of storms becoming storm-prone. Rising sea levels have also been predicted by the UN climate change panel.
A rise in temperatures approaching 2C will cause a rapid rise in sea levels that will wipe out low-lying coastal areas of the planet, or make conditions uninhabitable there.
Another trend, already noticeable, will be the amplification of the thawing of the permafrost cover in the polar regions. Melting of ice sheets and glaciers and the loss of summer Arctic ice and seasonal snow cover will cause a further rise in the sea levels.
Many animal and plant species will become extinct, and the process is underway even as we speak. The effect of even minute rise in average temperatures has already been felt in recent years.
The ongoing wildfires in the western US and Turkey, the unprecedented floods in China and Germany, and the devastating drought in Madagascar are being linked directly to climate change. The Arctic regions have been experiencing heat waves.
The UN climate change report has been termed as a code red for humanity by Antonio Guterres, the Secretary-General of the UN. He said that the evidence stands indisputable. Fossil fuel and deforestation have combined to release huge amounts of greenhouse gases into the planet’s atmosphere. It has been choking the planet and has put the entire population of the planet.
UN Climate Change Report Warns That Global Emission Rate The Greatest Threat
Global emissions have to be cut by a quarter of the present rates by 2030 if we are to stay away from the most horrible consequences of rapid climate change. That number has to go up to 50% in another 5 years. It seems an impossible task given that most nations, notably China and the US have refused to comply with any measures.
We continue to rely on fossil fuel for 80% of our energy demands. That figure has remained constant since 2009 and is not set to go down significantly in the near future, certainly not at the rate suggested by the UN climate change report.
Instead, we seem to be going the other way as this year is likely to witness the 2nd largest increase in emission levels. Even though the UN climate change report has said that the next decade will be the most crucial for the future of the planet, it is apparent that time will be spent on discussions and more climate summits, and it will surely be too late by then.