The consequences of the earth’s climate crisis are confirmed to be much more alarming than previously predicted and governments are being warned to act urgently to avoid a global disaster.
Alok Sharma, who headed the Cop26 climate summit in 2021 has stated: “The changes in the climate we are seeing today are affecting us much sooner and are greater than we originally thought. The impacts on our daily lives will be increasingly severe and stark. We will be doing ourselves and our populations a huge disservice if we fail to prepare now, based on the very clear science before us.”
The world has a “brief and rapidly closing window to secure a liveable future,” according to the latest assessment of climate science published Monday by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
The report found that at current levels, climate change caused by human activity has already led to widespread, dangerous and potentially irreversible damage including extreme heat, water shortages, melting ice caps and glaciers, wildfires and flooding. They assessed that the world is likely to reach 1.5C of warming within the next 20 years, even taking into account the best-case scenario of deep emissions cuts and the effects will be more severe than previous estimates.
The evolving climate is already fueling a massive die-off of species of corals and trees, the report warned that up to 14% of land species will likely face a high risk of extension in the aftermath of 1.5C warming.
Approximately 3.3 billion people live in areas classed as “highly vulnerable” to climate change, the group said and millions are already facing food and water shortages due to climate change.
The IPCC releases a new “assessment report” every six to seven years on the state of climate change.
United Nations Secretary, General Antonio Guterres gave his candid view on the alarming report and lashed out at political inaction that has failed to rein in the treacherous and hastening advancement of climate change and its disastrous implications.
“An atlas of human suffering and a damning indictment of failed climate leadership,” he said.
“The facts are undeniable. This abdication of leadership is criminal. The world’s biggest polluters are guilty of arson of our only home.”
The report also addresses for the first time the impact climate change has on mental health, including trauma from extreme weather and climate events, ever-increasing temperature and the loss of culture and livelihood.