Things to remember from the new IPCC report on the effects of global warming

After the facts, the effects and the means to adapt to them. The first part of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Part 6 report focused on climate change, but in Part 2 published on Monday, February 28, this global warming It details the impact on human society and ecosystems. Also, see how to adapt to it.

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“This report is a disastrous warning about the consequences of negligence.IPCC President Hoesung Lee warned in a press release. It shows that climate change is a serious and growing threat to our well-being and the health of this planet. Our actions today determine how humanity and nature adapt to increasing climate risks. “ The third part, which focuses on measures to limit this warming, will be published in early April.

Floods, agricultural losses, heat waves … this is something to remember from this reference document produced by 270 scientists from 67 countries.

Global warming is already damaging and things will get worse

Global warming is not a problem in the future, but the reality already observed at + 1.09 ° C compared to pre-industrial times: more intense and more frequent heat waves, forest fires and increased precipitation, Sea level rise, ocean acidification. .. “Anthropogenic climate change (…) has widespread adverse effects that go beyond natural variability and cause losses and damage to nature and humankind.”, Enter the author of the report in the summary for decision makers. This is a short version that has been discussed and approved with representatives of all IPCC member countries. “The increase in weather and extreme climate has irreversible effects, pushing human and natural systems beyond their adaptability limits.”They continue.

About our health. Climate change is already a health problem. “In all regions, extreme heat events have caused death.”, Can you read the report? This document also highlights an increase in respiratory illness due to forest fires, or food, water, and animal-related medical conditions. The report cites, for example, the increase in cholera caused by increased rain and floods.In some areas, rising temperatures and extreme events are also having an impact. mental health.

To our society. At the collective level, climate change “Reducing food security and access to water” It causes malnutrition problems for millions of people in Africa, Asia, Latin America, small islands and the Arctic Circle. “Climate hazards reduce agricultural production and CO2 stimulates photosynthesis, but reduces the nutritional value of crops.”Delphine Deryng, a researcher at the University of Humboldt (Berlin) and author of the report, explains.

In cities, global warming exacerbates air pollution and limits the functioning of key infrastructure such as transportation, energy and water supply. For economic planning, “Damage has been detected in climate-sensitive sectors, agriculture, forestry, Fisheries, energy, tourism, outdoor labor productivity “..

About the ecosystem. Animals, plants and natural space are at the forefront, “Substantial damage and increasingly irreversible losses to terrestrial, freshwater, coastal and marine ecosystems”.. Half of the monitored species move towards the poles or rise in altitude to avoid rising temperatures. Heat waves cause high mortality and are shaped by irreversible changes due to glacier retreat, arctic permafrost thawing, or ocean acidification. “The extent and magnitude of the effects of climate change are greater than those estimated in previous reports.”The author points out.

In the next few years. These effects vary by region and socio-economic category, but are exacerbated and intensified with every tenth increase. Risks such as drought and heat waves can combine with each other to create chained consequences (forest fires) that are more complex to deal with. “It’s just getting started”Warning to researcher Gonéri Le Cozannet Geological Mining Research Bureau (BRGM) and one of the authors of the text.

The report distinguishes between two periods: short-term (2021-2040) and medium- to long-term (2040-2100). First, some have already been invested because of too much greenhouse gas emissions. “Global warming up to 1.5 ° C will cause an inevitable increase in multiple climate risks.”The report says.

Second, it depends on the level of warming. Taking floods as an example, the damage is up to 2 times at 2 ° C and up to 4 times at 4 ° C compared to warming at 1.5 ° C. “Approximately one billion people can be threatened by coastal climate hazards in the medium term and in all scenarios.” Greenhouse gas emissions refer to the IPCC. Currently, the US promise (which has not yet been kept) is leading us towards warming at 2.7 ° C.

If the level of global warming is limited, adaptation can reduce the risk

In the face of this situation, humanity can partially adapt. “If you are much more involved than you are now, you can avoid many of the serious consequences.”Wolfgang Cramer, CNRS Research Director and one of the authors of the report, at the Institute for Maritime Continent Ecology (IMBE), Mediterranean Biodiversity, explains. Three adaptation scenarios are reviewed: limited, incomplete, and aggressive. This can significantly reduce the risk.

It welcomes some progress, but the report is especially “Gap between current adaptation levels and (…) levels needed to reduce climate risk”..Most measurements are “Fragmented, small, phased, sector-specific, designed to address current outcomes or short-term risks, with a focus on planning rather than implementation.”.. There is also the risk of maladaptation. For IPCC, the solution “It’s an integrated multi-sector, dealing with social inequality.” It’s more efficient. “It’s clear that minor, incremental, reactive, or incremental changes aren’t enough.”Write an expert on the FAQ to complete the report.

“As global warming progresses, losses and damage will increase and more and more human or natural systems will reach the limits of adaptation.”Warns scientists and points out that some ecosystems, such as corals, have already passed the point of not returning. “Europe is far less vulnerable than Africa, but even on this continent, adaptation alone is not sufficient to limit the risk of warming above 1.5 ° C.”Gonéri Le Cozannet, who participated in the writing of the chapter dedicated to the Old World, explains.

Therefore, mitigation, the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions resulting from our lifestyle (transportation, food, housing) and the driving force of global warming, is essential. “This report clearly shows that climate change-resistant development is ensured. [qui intègre des mesures d’adaptation et d’atténuation équitables pour tous] Already difficult at current warming levels, Write to the IPCC. Beyond 1.5 ° C, it becomes even more complicated. In some areas it is not possible above 2 ° C. “

Protecting nature is essential to the future of our society

IPCC scientists argue for the importance of protecting nature threatened by human activity. “Protecting biodiversity and ecosystems is the basis of climate change-resistant development.”, They write. They emphasize that these natural systems play a role in limiting climate change and adapting to its effects. According to their estimates, this requires 30-50% effective protection of land, waterways, and sea, based on published scientific literature.

Otherwise, these ecosystems can play a negative role on the contrary.Deterioration and destruction of them “It is also a source of greenhouse gases and can be exacerbated by the consequences of climate change such as droughts and forest fires.”.. And even when global warming is limited to + 1.5 ° C, 3-14% of terrestrial species are endangered.

Immediate action is required

This report creates a failure confirmation. “Current and past trends (emissions, development, climate change) do not allow progress towards climate-resistant global development.”Write the author. “Scientific evidence is clear. Climate change is a threat to human well-being and global health. Emphasize to scientists in the conclusion of the summary for decision makers. Delays in the implementation of coordinated, comprehensive and anticipated actions on adaptation and mitigation miss the short opportunity of a swift closure to ensure a livable and sustainable future for all. “