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The Latest IPCC Report: What is it and why does it matter?

The UN released a new climate report—here's what it says, and what we can do about it

This article was updated on April 4, 2022, to include findings from the most recent IPCC report).

The IPCC has released a new climate report, building on the findings of a previous report released in February. But what exactly is the IPCC? What do these reports mean, and how are they different from previous reports? Is our situation as grim as some of the news headlines make it sound?

We’ve prepared this guide to help you understand what these latest climate reports are, what their findings mean for our world and what we can do about them.

What is the IPCC and what do they do?

IPCC stands for Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change . The IPCC is the scientific group assembled by the United Nations to monitor and assess all global science related to climate change. Every IPCC report focuses on different aspects of climate change.

This latest report is the third part of the IPCC’s 6 th Assessment report (AR6 WGIII). It compiles the latest knowledge on climate change, the threats we’re already facing today, and what we can do to limit further temperature rises and the dangers that poses for the whole planet. The latest report (WGIII) focuses on how we limit further climate change. The second working group report (WGII), which was released in February, focused on climate impacts, adaptation and vulnerability. 

What should I know about the latest IPCC report?

Recent IPCC reports show some similar things as previous reports which you may already know about: that climate change is already causing more frequent and more severe storms, floods, droughts, wildfires and other extreme weather events. But each report includes more recent and detailed science, allowing it to describe current impacts and predict future trends with greater accuracy.

The latest IPCC report shows greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, and current plans to address climate change are not ambitious enough to limit warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels—a threshold scientists believe is necessary to avoid even more catastrophic impacts.

What’s particularly troubling is that these emissions are not evenly distributed—the wealthiest countries are responsible for disproportionately more emissions than developing countries, even though developing countries are experiencing more severe climate impacts, as the report in February showed.

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Is there any hope then?

Climate change is here today, reshaping our world in ways big and small—but that doesn’t mean our future is predetermined. We still have the ability to limit further warming—and to help communities around the world adapt to the changes that have already occurred. Every fraction of a degree counts.

We must accelerate the global transition to clean energy and reach “net zero” emissions as soon possible.   But as the latest IPCC report shows, we’ll not only need to cut out emissions—we’ll have to remove some of the carbon that’s already in the atmosphere. Fortunately, nature created a powerful technology that does just that: photosynthesis . Plants naturally absorb carbon from the air and store it in their roots and in the soil. In fact, our green allies could provide nearly a third of the emission reductions we need to stay within the 1.5C threshold.

The most urgent thing we can do to help nature fight climate change is protect the natural habitats around the world that store billions of tons of this “living carbon.” We can also help by changing the way we manage working lands like farms and timber forests so they retain more carbon, and restore natural habitats on lands that have been cleared or degraded. 

What can we do to stop climate change?

A global challenge like climate change requires global solutions. It will require movement-building and on-the-ground action, as well as new national policies and economic transformations. Here’s a few things that communities, governments, and business can do.


Related reading: Protecting nature through authentic partnerships.


Related reading: Canada's new climate plan includes working with nature to reduce emissions.

Related reading: An illustrated guide to carbon offsets.

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Earth Day is not just another day on the calendar

It’s a calling for us to come together. We can change the conversation from dire to doable and create real change to heal our planet. Find actions to take right here .

What can I do as an individual?

Videos: Climate Issues Explained

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Climate Action Resources

Natural Climate Solutions Handbook

October 2021

A technical guide for assessing nature-based mitigation opportunities in countries More information on Natural Climate Solutions

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Playbook for Climate Action

This playbook showcases five innovative pathways for reducing emissions and climate impacts. A comprehensive suite of science-based solutions, the playbook presents actions governments and companies can deploy—and scale—today. Visit the Digital Version

Further Reading

Aerial view of Holmes River, British Columbia.

We must reduce emissions dramatically this decade to keep global temperatures in safe bounds—and both technology and nature can play a role, says TNC's Director of Global Climate Science.

Healthy mangroves for resilient coasts.

Recognizing the Protective Value of Nature

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COP27 takes place November 6-18, 2022 in Egypt. This guide will tell you what to expect at COP27, why TNC will be there, and what it all means for you.

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The IPCC Climate Change 2022 Impacts Report: Why it matters

Large-scale reduction in carbon dioxide pollution key to climate change response, scientists say.

This week some 270 top scientists from 67 countries, including two NOAA scientists, are completing the final details of a large-scale report: Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation & Vulnerability, the second part of the Sixth Assessment Report offsite link . The report will describe how climate change is already affecting the world’s human and natural systems.

Arctic landscape showing a view of Alaska's Chukchi Borderlands.

View of the Chukchi Borderlands where the Arctic, Pacific and Atlantic ocean basins meet. (Image credit: Caitlin Bailey/Global Foundation for Ocean Exploration)

Additional Resources

United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change offsite link

NOAA’s Climate.gov

NOAA’s Ocean Acidification Program

NOAA’s Alaska Fisheries Science Center

On Monday, February 28, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change offsite link (IPCC) will release its latest report, which will focus on climate solutions and regional and local adaptation. It will also assess the feasibility of various adaptation strategies to curb current and predicted impacts of climate change.

The IPCC was established 34 years ago to provide actionable information on climate change for decision makers. IPCC reports are the result of a unique collaboration of scientific expertise and political consensus. The new report will reaffirm that the science pertaining to climate change is settled, and the most important response to climate change is large-scale reduction in carbon dioxide pollution that drives global warming.

...we have to act, we need a whole of society approach, no one can be left out, no household, no businesses, no government... Debra Roberts , Co-chair of the IPCC Working Group II report

To learn more about why this new report matters and what went into creating it, NOAA interviewed NOAA authors, Libby Jewett, director of the NOAA’s Ocean Acidification Program, and Kirstin Holsman, a research scientist from NOAA’s Alaska Fisheries Science Center. They served on an international team of authors who assessed scientific literature to prepare the new IPCC report’s chapter on North America.

The authors underwent a rigorous selection process offsite link , and have spent three years working with fellow scientists to provide the best available science on climate change impacts, vulnerabilities and adaptation in North America. Holsman is also an author of the report’s cross-chapter paper on Polar Regions.

Watch: The below video interview features NOAA scientists Libby Jewett and Kirstin Holsman  — contributors to the latest IPCC report.

This video features interviews with NOAA scientists Libby Jewett and Kirstin Holsman — contributors to the IPCC Climate Change 2022 Impacts Report. They served on an international team of authors who assessed scientific literature to prepare the new IPCC report’s chapter on North America.

In a recent briefing on the new report, Debra Roberts, co-chair of the IPCC Working Group II report and head of Sustainable and Resilient City Initiatives in eThekwini Municipality in Durban, South Africa, said the report will tell a story about how today’s civilization has been built on ways of life that have accelerated the decline of nature to the detriment of humans and ecosystems. The report’s authors will lay out a clear case for a major turnaround that will better integrate the world’s economic and environmental systems for a sustainable future.

Hans-Otto Pörtner, co-chair of the IPCC report and an expert on climate impacts on natural systems, said the report would call out the major barriers to creating a sustainable future in the face of rising temperatures and accelerating climate change impacts on every sector and every person on Earth.

“We have an education gap and an implementation gap,” Pörtner said. “The traffic rules to move toward more sustainable lives are not reaching people.” 

Added Roberts: “There is a strong message across all the IPCC reports that we have to act, we need a whole of society approach, no one can be left out, no household, no businesses, no government, and it's that whole of society scale that we haven’t put in place that is urgently needed.”

Media contact

Monica Allen,  monica.allen@noaa.gov , (202) 379-6693

Related Features //

A lone hiker in the Delong Mountains in the Western Arctic National Parklands, August 2014.

The latest UN report is clear: Climate change is here, it’s a crisis, and it’s caused by fossil fuels.

People board a ferry prior to an evacuation as a wildfire approaches the seaside village of Limni, on the island of Evia, Greece, on August 6, 2021.

A new United Nations–led report from hundreds of climate scientists around the world makes it clear: The human-driven climate crisis is now well under way. Earth is likely hotter now than it has been at any moment since the beginning of the last Ice Age, 125,000 years ago, and the world has warmed 1.1 degrees Celsius, or nearly 2 degrees Fahrenheit, since the Industrial Revolution began—an “unprecedented” and “rapid” change with no parallel in the Common Era. What’s more, the recent spate of horrific heat waves, fire-fueling droughts, and flood-inducing storms that have imperiled the inhabited world are not only typical of global warming, but directly caused by it.

Climate change has arrived, in other words, and it will keep getting worse until humanity reduces its greenhouse-gas pollution to zero, which can be accomplished only by dethroning oil, coal, and gas as the central energy sources powering the global economy.

But the speed of that transition matters—and preventing every last ton of carbon pollution, and averting every additional tenth of a degree of warming, will not only lessen the harm over the next few decades, but resound for centuries and even millennia to come.

These are the conclusions of the newest assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change , a UN-sponsored body that has periodically released a synthesis of current climate science since its founding in 1988. The group’s reports tend to punctuate the otherwise slow immiseration of climate change; its previous synthesis report, released in 2013, helped inform international climate policy, including the writing of the Paris Agreement.

This is its sixth report and its most definitive. The group’s findings must be agreed to by 195 countries; this famously makes it more conservative than some scientists believe is prudent. But compared with previous reports, there is little restraint here. In its strongest statement of culpability ever, the IPCC declared that humanity is “unequivocally” responsible for climate change. “In past reports, we’ve had to make that statement more hesitantly. Now it’s a statement of fact,” Gregory Flato, a vice chair of the group that authored the report and a senior research scientist within the Canadian government, told me.

Some of the worst impacts of climate change can still be avoided. “There are still emissions pathways that would lead us to limiting warming to 1.5 degrees, but they require deep, rapid cuts in greenhouse-gas emissions,” Flato said. “That leaves a glimmer of optimism that we could limit warming to levels like that.” But it would require much more expedient action from the United States than is contemplated in, say, the bipartisan infrastructure bill that Congress is currently considering.

The report is 3,949 pages long and synthesizes the past eight years of advances in climate science; altogether, it cites some 14,000 studies. It would be folly to try to summarize all that work here. But the bottom line is that climate science, and the cataclysm of climate change, has lurched into the present tense. Where scientists once warned of disasters in the distant future, now they strive to understand what has already happened—and what is too late to save. Here are four takeaways:

1. Climate change is now a fact of modern life—and it will only get worse.

Climate change has been happening now nearly since before it first became a public issue. When James Hansen, the head of climate science at NASA, first warned Congress about climate change in 1988, he framed it in what might be called the tentative present tense, saying that the agency could now say “with a high degree of confidence” that global warming was under way.

And it was. As the new report notes: “Each of the last four decades has been successively warmer than any decade that preceded it since 1850.” Yet in the past few years, global warming has moved from a statistical property to an ambient condition of modern life. A mega-drought seems to grip the American West without end. A series of wildfires have passed, like a baton, from one part of the world to another, going from California to the Amazon to Australia to Greece to California again. And then there was the morning, a few weeks ago, when Americans on the East Coast and in the Midwest woke up, thousands of miles away from any wildfire, and smelled smoke in the air.

“We’re reaching a point where the impacts of climate change are becoming too hard to ignore for many people,” Zeke Hausfather, a climate scientist and a co-author of one of the report’s chapters, told me.

For the first time, the report establishes that those extreme events are happening because of climate change. Scientists’ ability to attribute individual events to the warming atmosphere is the “biggest advance” the field has seen in the past decade, Ben Cook, a climate-science professor at Columbia University, told me.

“Every inhabited region across the globe” has seen a well-documented increase in heat waves, heavy rain, or drought, the report says. Human activity is also behind the demise of glaciers since 1990, the hemorrhaging of the Greenland ice sheet, and the decline of snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere since 1950, the report says. No part of the world has been left untouched by humanity’s prodigious carbon pollution.

2. Sea-level rise will be worse than once thought—and could occur quickly and catastrophically.

In the past decade, climate scientists have arrived at more pessimistic views about sea-level rise, and those views are reflected in this report. Most researchers now believe that the oceans will rise roughly half a foot more than once projected. In a relatively optimistic “intermediate” emissions scenario, for instance, the IPCC once projected that oceans would rise about one and a half feet by 2100. The new report finds that just under two feet is more likely, and two and a half feet is not out of the question.

The authors could not eliminate from their models the small chance that some of the largest glaciers in West Antarctica could catastrophically collapse this century. In that scenario, humanity could see more than six and a half feet of sea-level rise by 2100 and perhaps as much as 16 feet of sea-level rise by 2150.

3. Sea-level rise is also essentially irreversible.

If humanity successfully learns how to remove carbon from the atmosphere, some of the impacts of climate change, such as ocean acidification and the rise in land temperatures, may be reversible.

But some will not. Sea-level rise is chief among them. “Once you have melting under way, it’s very hard to rein it in, even if you go full-scale into reversal of global warming,” Kim Cobb, a climate scientist at Georgia Tech and a co-author of the report, told me. The slow increase in sea levels could continue for millennia.

“When I say those words, it almost chokes me up. It scares the crap out of me, frankly,” Cobb said. “This is a horrific long-term consequence to the decisions we’ll be making this decade on our watch.”

4. The climate is now changing on political time.

If climate change is happening now, then its time scales—which once seemed distant—are suddenly ticking by at the speed of the political or business calendars. An earlier draft of this report cautioned that the world could see more than 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming by the early 2030s. Although that language was removed because researchers could not guarantee that a fluke event, such as a once-in-a-century volcanic eruption, would not briefly cool the planet and delay the inevitable for a few years, the broad point remains. The IPCC now warns that the world is likely to exceed 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming by 2040 even if humanity cuts carbon pollution as rapidly as is plausible. In fact, the agency estimates that enough greenhouse gas is already in the atmosphere today to raise the planet’s temperature by 1.5 degrees Celsius—only the cooling effects of smog and other forms of conventional air pollution are keeping temperatures depressed.

But humanity may still avoid warming the planet by 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2100. On all pathways, the world’s temperature will increase more than 1.5 degrees Celsius by the middle of the century; the only question is whether it then begins to cool down or keeps going up. Current policies suggest that the planet is set for 3 degrees Celsius, or more than 5 degrees Fahrenheit, of warming by the end of the century.

“We’re already seeing extreme rainfall, heat waves, and droughts that are all implicitly or explicitly tied to climate change—and this is just a 1-degree world,” Cook said. “I would not want to live in a 4-degree world. And a 3-degree world … would be quite challenging.”

Climate Change 2022: Mitigation of Climate Change

The working group iii report provides an updated global assessment of climate change mitigation progress and pledges, and examines the sources of global emissions. it explains developments in emission reduction and mitigation efforts, assessing the impact of national climate pledges in relation to long-term emissions goals., summary for policymakers.

The Summary for Policymakers (SPM) provides a high-level summary of the key findings of the Working Group III Report and is approved by the IPCC member governments line by line.

Technical Summary

The Technical Summary (TS) provides extended summary of key findings and serves as a link between the comprehensive assessment of the Working Group III Report and the concise SPM.

Full Report

The 17 Chapters of the Working Group III Report assess the mitigation of climate change, examine the sources of global emissions and explain developments in emission reduction and mitigation efforts.

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Introduction and Framing

recent report of ipcc

Emissions trends and drivers

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Mitigation pathways compatible with long-term goals

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Mitigation and development pathways in the near- to mid-term

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Demand, services and social aspects of mitigation

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Energy systems

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Agriculture, Forestry, and Other Land Uses (AFOLU)

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Urban systems and other settlements

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Cross sectoral perspectives

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National and sub-national policies and institutions

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International cooperation

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Investment and finance

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Innovation, technology development and transfer

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Accelerating the transition in the context of sustainable development

Definitions, units and conventions, scenarios and modelling methods, contributors to the ipcc wgiii sixth assessment report, expert reviewers of the ipcc wgiii sixth assessment report.

Knowledge is power

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Yale Climate Connections

Key takeaways from the new IPCC report

Bob Henson

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Satellite image of wildfire in British Columbia

A hellish northern summer laced with deadly heat waves, perilous floods, and massive wildfires may be just a preview of coming attractions, according to a blockbuster new assessment from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The assessment lays out how the planet’s air, oceans, and ice are pushing relentlessly into new territory.

Eight years of research from more than 14,000 papers have been telescoped into the exhaustive new report, part of the sixth comprehensive assessment in the IPCC’s 33-year history .

The report finds that Earth is on the doorstep of the much-discussed 1.5°C threshold, more likely than not to be reached by 2040. The hazards of compound impacts – such as heat and drought together ­– have risen to new prominence since the last assessment, and the risks of cataclysmic tipping points continue to loom.

“Unless there are immediate, rapid, and large-scale reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, limiting warming to 1.5°C will be beyond reach,” said Ko Barrett, senior advisor for climate for NOAA’s Office of Atmospheric Research and one of three IPCC vice-chairs, in a press briefing on Sunday, August 8.

On Monday, the panel released the Summary for Policymakers from Working Group I , devoted to the foundational physical science of climate change. Still to come over the next few months are new assessments from Working Group II (impacts, adaptation and vulnerability) and Working Group III (mitigation, or how to avert further climate change).

IPCC is one of the most expansive science review efforts in global history. Rather than conducting its own research, the panel evaluates studies by thousands of scientists from around the world. The idea is to gauge which findings represent the most solid guidance needed for policymakers, governments, businesses, and individuals to address climate change.

The most startling conclusions from IPCC tend to be contextual: how a range of recent studies fit together into a coherent picture. Like a jigsaw puzzle, the result of a complete IPCC assessment can be more illuminating than any single piece. The newly appreciated threats from compound impacts are a prime example.

Notably, the IPCC has stepped up its graphics game in the new report, which has a number of crisp, striking visualizations (see below).

Hottest in two millennia

In an arresting new look at observed global temperature, IPCC has updated its famous “hockey stick” graphic, so named because of the sharp upward bend since 1850 as compared to past centuries. Featured in the IPCC’s third full assessment report in 2001, the hockey stick became a flashpoint of contention in the world of climate science denial; however, numerous studies have since borne out the concept’s validity.

The long end of the hockey stick now extends back to the year 1 AD, and warming since 2000 has only lengthened the uptick at the end (see below left).

Global temperature has risen more since 1970 than in any half century going back to (and before) the days of Caesar, Cleopatra, and Christ. To arrive at a multicentury period warmer than 1850-2020, one has to go back to before the last ice age, more than 100,000 years ago.

The new report also updates one of the most powerful pieces of evidence for human-produced climate change: a comparison of model portrayals of global temperature since 1850 from two sets of models, one including and one excluding the last 170 years of emissions from fossil fuel burning (see below right). Without these human-produced greenhouse gases, the warming since 1850 simply doesn’t happen.

Changes in global surface temperatures

How much warming ahead?

As always, the IPCC makes clear that the amount of climate change ahead depends crucially on if and how quickly the world ramps down greenhouse gas emissions. Many impacts, including the most fearsome weather extremes, are expected to increase roughly in proportion with emissions, and that’s not even counting the most fraught tipping points (see below).

In the blunt words of the new report: “With every additional increment of global warming, changes in extremes continue to become larger.”

To see where the planet may be headed, the new assessment draws on a new set of five emission scenarios, called shared socioeconomic pathways (SSPs). These vary a bit from the previous representative concentration pathways (RCPs), but together they still span a wide range, from a business-as-usual track (SSP5-8.5) to negative emissions by the 2050s (SSP1-1.9).

The SSP1-1.9 scenario is a newly aggressive track prompted by the 2015 Paris Agreement ’s call to keep global warming well below 2°C over preindustrial temperature, and preferably no more than 1.5°C. In the IPCC’s last assessment, “there was not a single scenario that was compatible with limiting warming to 1.5°C, because we didn’t really have that objective before the Paris Agreement,” said Maisa Rojas Corradi of the University of Chile, a coordinating lead author for Chapter 1 of the new report.

Future annual emissions of CO2 across five scenarios

What do the high- and low-end scenarios indicate? Emissions growth slowed to a crawl in the 2010s, and COVID-19 brought emissions in 2020 down by a few percent, roughly to the same level as a decade ago. Experts assume a sharp rebound this year and next. Given longer-term global trends that include a dramatic swing away from coal, though, it now seems unlikely that the world will follow a high-end emissions path similar to SSP5-8.5.

On the other hand, following the lowest-end SSP1-1.9 scenario would take an extraordinary global effort. SSP1-1.9 assumes that total global CO2 emissions will drop by roughly 25% by 2030 and about 50% by 2035. A total of 137 countries have already thrown themselves behind a goal of carbon neutrality, most of them targeting 2050. If enough countries line up behind a roughly 50% cut by 2030 – with similar goals already set by the European Union, United Kingdom, and United States – then the SSP1-1.9 path could be within reach.

It’s unsettling, however, that all five of the new emission scenarios bring the planet to at least 1.5°C of warming over preindustrial levels between now and 2040.

It’s even possible that global temperature could briefly hit the 1.5°C threshold as soon as 2025, especially with any bump-up from a strong El Niño event. This result would likely precede crossing the threshold in a more sustained way. (Likewise, any volcanic eruption on the scale of 1991’s Mt. Pinatubo would tamp down global warming for one to three years, but it wouldn’t change the long-term picture.)

The main question, then, is whether big emission cuts soon can help the global climate from going past 1.5°C for the long term, which the IPCC showed in 2018 would raise the odds of more dire outcomes. The most optimistic scenario, SSP1-1.9, has global temperature nudging past 1.5°C by mid-century but then dropping back by late century. Such a relatively short excursion above 1.5°C might not trigger the worst outcomes, according to the panel.

If the world doesn’t cut emissions by half until 2050 – corresponding to SSP1-2.6, the next-best scenario of the five in this report – then global temperature could still push upward well past 1.5°C in the latter half of the century. It’s a stark reminder that half-hearted emission cuts are liable to bring less-than-satisfying results.

Changes in global surface temperatures

Extremes on top of extremes, with some regional quirks

As long expected, rising global temperatures are continuing to boost the odds of intense, prolonged heat waves. Moreover, the global water cycle continues to intensify, with the heaviest downpours getting heavier and the worst droughts having even more impact on parched landscapes.

This assessment marks a new focus on the pile-on effects delivered by compounded extremes. Although the warming estimates from IPCC haven’t skyrocketed in this new report, there’s new recognition of how global-scale warming can translate into devilishly complex and destructive local and regional impacts.

“These compound events can often impact ecosystems and societies more strongly than when such events occur in isolation,” IPCC noted in an FAQ it prepared for the new assessment. “For example, a drought along with extreme heat will increase the risk of wildfires and agriculture damages or losses. As individual extreme events become more severe as a result of climate change, the combined occurrence of these events will create unprecedented compound events. This could exacerbate the intensity and associated impacts of these extreme events.”

Damage from Hurricane Laura

Already, human influence has likely increased the chance of compound extreme events since the 1950s, the IPCC assessment concludes. Among such events are the frequency of concurrent heatwaves and droughts on the global scale (high confidence); fire weather in some regions of all inhabited continents (medium confidence); and compound flooding in some locations (medium confidence). Looking ahead, the report adds, “a warmer climate will intensify very wet and very dry weather and climate events and seasons, with implications for flooding or drought (high confidence), but the location and frequency of these events depend on projected changes in regional atmospheric circulation, including monsoons and mid-latitude storm tracks.”

One of the only regions on Earth where there’s little agreement on heat-related trends since the 1950s is central and eastern North America (see below). Episodes of record heat in this area have been juxtaposed at times with mild summers, cold winters, and widespread wetness, making it harder to separate the climate-change temperature signal from natural variability. Research into the “ warming hole ” is ongoing. There’s certainly no guarantee this region will continue to lag the world on overall warming – and for eastern North America, increases in extreme precipitation are deemed “very likely” by the IPCC.

Synthesis of assessment of observed change in hot extremes since the 1950s

The longest-term legacy: sea level rise

Because of its consensus nature, IPCC often puts metaphorical brackets around the kind of abrupt yet colossal changes often cited as tipping points. Earth’s climate is a lumbering system that doesn’t turn on a dime easily, even with the massive amounts of greenhouse gas being added to it. However, we ignore the risks of certain tipping points at our great peril.

As IPCC puts it: “Low-likelihood outcomes, such as ice sheet collapse, abrupt ocean circulation changes, some compound extreme events, and warming substantially larger than the assessed very likely range of future warming cannot be ruled out and are part of risk assessment.”

One example of how this needle gets threaded is with sea level rise (see below). The new projections are a bit higher than in the last assessment, but not dramatically so. They call for about 0.5 to 1.0 meter (1.5 to 3 feet) of sea level rise through 2100. Most of the difference occurs after 2050, with increasing late-century acceleration in the higher-end scenarios.

The elephant in the room is the dotted line showing what could happen if ice sheets in Antarctica become destabilized – a risk highlighted in key papers almost a decade ago, but still not a consensus expectation . According to the new assessment, “global mean sea level rise above the likely range – approaching 2 m [6 feet] by 2100 and 5 m [15 feet] by 2150 under a very high GHG emissions scenario (SSP5-8.5) (low confidence) – cannot be ruled out due to deep uncertainty in ice sheet processes.”

Global mean sea level change in meters relative to 1990

Even now, it’s clear that some coastlines are in far more jeopardy than one might think from the global projections. That’s because sea level rise to date, combined with everyday weather events, seasonal tidal cycles, and shifting ocean currents, is bringing increasingly frequent floods to some areas long before they’re inundated for good. The U.S. Gulf and Atlantic coasts are among those getting hit hard by such effects, including destructive “king tides.”

The IPCC warns: “In some areas, coastal flooding that occurred once a century in the recent past could be a yearly event by 2100.”

Perhaps the most profound threat from sea level rise is how long it will persist, an issue that’s long been acknowledged but that’s conveyed more powerfully than ever in the new assessment. “In the longer term, sea level is committed to rise for centuries to millennia due to continuing deep ocean warming and ice sheet melt, and will remain elevated for thousands of years (high confidence),” warns the assessment. It adds:

“Over the next 2000 years, global mean sea level will rise by about 2 to 3 m [7-10 ft] if warming is limited to 1.5°C, 2 to 6 m [7-20 ft] if limited to 2°C, and 19 to 22 m [62-72 feet] with 5°C of warming, and it will continue to rise over subsequent millennia (low confidence).”

Even with the “low confidence” caveat, this research-rooted statement is hair-raising – and it ought to be enough in itself to motivate the serious emission cuts that 30-plus years of IPCC reports have pointed toward.

There’s still (some) time

The bleakness of the IPCC’s new assessment is leavened by new detail on how implementing prompt emissions cuts could help pull the world back from the brink and do so well within our own time. (The forthcoming Working Group III report will delve into much more detail on options for keeping climate change in check.)

Compared to the two higher-end scenarios, the two lower-end ones “lead within years to discernible effects on greenhouse gas and aerosol concentrations, and air quality…. discernible differences in trends of global surface temperature would begin to emerge from natural variability within around 20 years, and over longer time periods for many other climatic impact-drivers (high confidence).”

Even if some component of sea level rise is unavoidable going out centuries, “our emissions matter hugely for the long-term amount of sea level rise and how quickly it comes,” said Robert Kopp (Rutgers University), an author of the new assessment’s Summary for Policymakers.

It’s key to remember that IPCC assessments are meant to be policy-descriptive rather than policy-prospective. Rather than instructing global society on how to act, they give a portrait of what’s happening and what could happen based on how much greenhouse gas is emitted (i.e., “If the world does X, we can expect Y”).

It’s then up to the people of the world, individually and collectively, to arrive at alternatives to X through governmental, civic, corporate, personal, and diplomatic means – including processes such as the COP26 climate conference this November in Glasgow.

recent report of ipcc

Also see: 1.5 or 2 degrees Celsius of additional global warming: Does it make a difference?

Bob Henson is a meteorologist and journalist based in Boulder, Colorado. He has written on weather and climate for the National Center for Atmospheric Research, Weather Underground, and many freelance... More by Bob Henson

UN climate report: It’s ‘now or never’ to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees

A young boy collects what little water he can from a dried up river due to severe drought in Somalia.

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A new flagship UN report on climate change out Monday indicating that harmful carbon emissions from 2010-2019 have never been higher in human history, is proof that the world is on a “fast track” to disaster, António Guterres has warned , with scientists arguing that it’s ‘now or never’ to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees.

Reacting to the latest findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change ( IPCC ), the UN Secretary-General insisted that unless governments everywhere reassess their energy policies, the world will be uninhabitable.

#LIVE NOW the press conference to present the #IPCC’s latest #ClimateReport, #ClimateChange 2022: Mitigation of Climate Change, the Working Group III contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report. Including a Q&A session with registered media. https://t.co/iIl81zXev7 IPCC IPCC_CH

His comments reflected the IPCC’s insistence that all countries must reduce their fossil fuel use substantially, extend access to electricity, improve energy efficiency and increase the use of alternative fuels, such as hydrogen.

Unless action is taken soon, some major cities will be under water, Mr. Guterres said in a video message, which also forecast “unprecedented heatwaves, terrifying storms, widespread water shortages and the extinction of a million species of plants and animals”.

Horror story

The UN chief added: “This is not fiction or exaggeration. It is what science tells us will result from our current energy policies. We are on a pathway to global warming of more than double the 1.5-degree (Celsius, or 2.7-degrees Fahreinheit) limit ” that was agreed in Paris in 2015.

Providing the scientific proof to back up that damning assessment, the IPCC report – written by hundreds of leading scientists and agreed by 195 countries - noted that greenhouse gas emissions generated by human activity, have increased since 2010 “across all major sectors globally”.

In an op-ed article penned for the Washington Post, Mr. Guterres described the latest IPCC report as "a litany of broken climate promises ", which revealed a "yawning gap between climate pledges, and reality."

He wrote that high-emitting governments and corporations, were not just turning a blind eye, "they are adding fuel to the flames by continuing to invest in climate-choking industries. Scientists warn that we are already perilously close to tipping points that could lead to cascading and irreversible climate effects."

Urban issue

An increasing share of emissions can be attributed to towns and cities , the report’s authors continued, adding just as worryingly, that emissions reductions clawed back in the last decade or so “have been less than emissions increases, from rising global activity levels in industry, energy supply, transport, agriculture and buildings”.

Striking a more positive note - and insisting that it is still possible to halve emissions by 2030 - the IPCC urged governments to ramp up action to curb emissions.

The UN body also welcomed the significant decrease in the cost of renewable energy sources since 2010, by as much as 85 per cent for solar and wind energy, and batteries.

Global net anthropogenic emissions have continued to rise across all major groups of greenhouse gases.

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Encouraging climate action

“We are at a crossroads. The decisions we make now can secure a liveable future,” said IPCC Chair Hoesung Lee. “ I am encouraged by climate action being taken in many countries . There are policies, regulations and market instruments that are proving effective. If these are scaled up and applied more widely and equitably, they can support deep emissions reductions and stimulate innovation.”

To limit global warming to around 1.5C (2.7°F), the IPCC report insisted that global greenhouse gas emissions would have to peak “before 2025 at the latest, and be reduced by 43 per cent by 2030”.

Methane would also need to be reduced by about a third, the report’s authors continued, adding that even if this was achieved, it was “almost inevitable that we will temporarily exceed this temperature threshold”, although the world “could  return to below it by the end of the century”.

Now or never

“ It’s now or never, if we want to limit global warming to 1.5°C (2.7°F); without immediate and deep emissions reductions across all sectors, it will be impossible ,” said Jim Skea, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group III, which released the latest report.

Global temperatures will stabilise when carbon dioxide emissions reach net zero. For 1.5C (2.7F), this means achieving net zero carbon dioxide emissions globally in the early 2050s; for 2C (3.6°F), it is in the early 2070s, the IPCC report states.

“This assessment shows that limiting warming to around 2C (3.6F) still requires global greenhouse gas emissions to peak before 2025 at the latest, and be reduced by a quarter by 2030.”

Families forced to move all their belongings, including livestock, South Sudan.

Policy base

A great deal of importance is attached to IPCC assessments because they provide governments with scientific information that they can use to develop climate policies.

They also play a key role in international negotiations to tackle climate change.

Among the sustainable and emissions-busting solutions that are available to governments, the IPCC report emphasised that rethinking how cities and other urban areas function in future could help significantly in mitigating the worst effects of climate change.

“These (reductions) can be achieved through lower energy consumption (such as by creating compact, walkable cities), electrification of transport in combination with low-emission energy sources, and enhanced carbon uptake and storage using nature,” the report suggested. “There are options for established, rapidly growing and new cities,” it said.

Echoing that message, IPCC Working Group III Co-Chair, Priyadarshi Shukla, insisted that “the right policies, infrastructure and technology…to enable changes to our lifestyles and behaviour, can result in a 40 to 70 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. “The evidence also shows that these lifestyle changes can improve our health and wellbeing.”

A cow trying to leave an area affected by intense flooding, South Sudan.

Emergency and search-and-rescue teams have deployed to assess and prioritize urgent needs and to provide life-saving assistance following the devastating earthquake near the Türkiye-Syria border.

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Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report

Press Statement

Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of State

February 28, 2022

The report today from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is a reminder that the climate crisis threatens us all, in every region of the world and across every sector of the economy.  It also demonstrates why the international community must urgently continue to pursue ambitious climate action, even as we face other pressing global challenges.

We know the significant risks climate change poses to our health and safety, and we know the climate plays a decisive role in shaping the trajectory of peace and prosperity in the world.  While political and economic decisions are the primary drivers of conflict, climate change will increase as a threat to global and local stability.

The IPCC report underscores the ways climate impacts are affecting lives and livelihoods globally now.  The report reflects scientists’ increased confidence that the harm already being experienced as a result of climate impacts will worsen as the world continues to warm, with growing adverse effects on economies, ecosystems, and human health.

Importantly, the IPCC report concludes that effective adaptation measures can help build a more resilient global society in the near term and beyond. The report also emphasizes that solutions are most effective when they prioritize inclusion and equity in planning and implementation and work across all levels of government.

The IPCC’s findings reinforce the importance and urgency of work already underway across the U.S. government to implement President Biden’s Emergency Plan for Adaptation and Resilience (PREPARE), the cornerstone of the U.S. government response to addressing the increasing impacts of the global climate crisis.  PREPARE will bring together the United States’ diplomatic, development, and technical expertise to help more than half a billion people in developing countries adapt to and manage the impacts of climate change by 2030.

Approval of this report is the result of more than five years of work by hundreds of scientists from the United States and around the world to comprehensively assess what is known about the global impacts of and vulnerabilities to climate change.  I commend the many expert contributors to this report, which has provided us with a comprehensive and authoritative synthesis of knowledge about global climate change impacts, vulnerability, and adaptation.

The United States is committed to continued participation in IPCC activities and to the rigorous use of scientific information as a foundation for action to address the threats from climate change.

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The lessons of 1989: freedom and our future.

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Climate Reports

Key reports on climate impacts and solutions from around the United Nations.

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UNEP & WMO | Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion

The successful global phase-out of ozone-depleting chemicals is allowing the ozone layer to recover and is also helping to mitigate climate change.

Read the report

recent report of ipcc

WMO | Executive Action Plan for the Early Warnings for All

The Executive Action Plan for the Early Warnings for All initiative calls for initial new targeted investments between 2023 and 2027 of US$3.1 billion – a sum which would be dwarfed by the benefits.

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WMO | Provisional State of the Global Climate 2022

The past eight years are on track to be the eight warmest on record, and the telltale signs and impacts of climate change are becoming more dramatic, warns a new report.

recent report of ipcc

UNEP | One Atmosphere: An Independent Expert Review on Solar Radiation Modification Research and Deployment

Solar Radiation Modification – a speculative group of technologies to cool the Earth – requires far more research into its risks and benefits before any consideration for potential deployment, according to an Expert Panel convened by the United Nations Environment Programme. The panel finds that Solar Radiation Modification is not yet ready for large-scale deployment to cool the Earth. Rapid reduction in greenhouse gas emissions must remain the global priority, the report states.

recent report of ipcc

The past eight years are on track to be the eight warmest on record, fueled by ever rising greenhouse gas concentrations and accumulated heat. Extreme heatwaves, drought and devastating flooding have affected millions and cost billions this year, warns the Provisional State of the Global Climate report.

recent report of ipcc

UNEP | Emissions Gap Report 2022: The Closing Window

Inadequate progress on climate action calls for urgent sector and system-wide transformations – in the electricity supply, industry, transport and buildings sectors, and the food and financial systems – as current climate pledges leave the world on track for a temperature rise of 2.4-2.6°C by the end of this century.

recent report of ipcc

WMO | Greenhouse Gas Bulletin 2022

The latest report warns that atmospheric levels of the three main greenhouse gases - carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide - reached new record highs in 2021, showing the biggest year-on-year jump in methane concentrations since systematic measurements began nearly 40 years ago. Moreover, the increase in carbon dioxide levels from 2020 to 2021 was larger than the average annual growth rate over the last decade.

recent report of ipcc

WMO | United in Science 2022

As global warming increases, “tipping points” in the climate system cannot be ruled out and the ambition of emissions reduction pledges for 2030 needs to be seven times higher to be in line with the 1.5 °C goal of the Paris Agreement.

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WMO | State of the Climate in Africa

Water stress and hazards like withering droughts and devastating floods are hitting African communities, economies, and ecosystems hard. Rising water demand combined with limited and unpredictable supplies threatens to aggravate conflict and displacement.

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IPCC | Climate Change 2022: Mitigation of Climate Change

Without immediate and deep emissions reductions across all sectors, limiting global warming to 1.5°C (2.7°F) is beyond reach. In the scenarios assessed, limiting warming to around 1.5°C requires global greenhouse gas emissions to peak before 2025 at the latest, and be reduced by 43% by 2030; at the same time, methane would also need to be reduced by about a third. According to the report, there is increasing evidence of climate action. In 2010-2019, average annual global greenhouse gas emissions were at their highest levels in human history, but the rate of growth has slowed. An increasing range of policies and laws have enhanced energy efficiency, reduced rates of deforestation and accelerated the deployment of renewable energy.

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IPCC | Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation, Vulnerability

Human-induced climate change is causing dangerous and widespread disruption in nature and is affecting the lives of billions of people around the world, says this Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report. People and ecosystems least able to cope are being hardest hit. Increased heatwaves, droughts and floods are already exceeding plants and animals’ tolerance thresholds, driving mass mortalities in species such as trees and corals. These weather extremes are occurring simultaneously, causing cascading impacts that are increasingly difficult to manage. They have exposed millions of people to acute food and water insecurity, especially in Africa, Asia, Central and South America, on small islands and in the Arctic. To avoid mounting loss of life, biodiversity and infrastructure, urgent, ambitious, and accelerated action is required to adapt to climate change, at the same time as making rapid, deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.

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WMO | State of Global Climate 2021

Record atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations and associated accumulated heat have propelled the planet into uncharted territory, with far-reaching repercussions for current and future generations. This report finds the past seven years are on track to be the seven warmest on record, based on data for the first nine months of 2021. A temporary cooling “La Niña” event early in the year means that 2021 is expected to be “only” the fifth to seventh warmest year on record. But this does not negate or reverse the long-term trend of rising temperatures. Global sea level rise accelerated since 2013 to a new high in 2021, with continued ocean warming and ocean acidification. The report combines input from multiple United Nations agencies, national meteorological and hydrological services and scientific experts. It highlights impacts on food security and population displacement, harming crucial ecosystems and undermining progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals.

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World Meteorological Organization | Greenhouse Gas Bulletin

The abundance of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere once again reached a new record in 2020, with the annual rate of increase above the 2011-2020 average. That trend has continued in 2021, according to the latest Greenhouse Gas Bulletin. Concentration of carbon dioxide, the most important greenhouse gas, reached 413.2 parts per million in 2020 and is 149 per cent of the pre-industrial level. Methane is 262 per cent of the level in 1750 when human activities started disrupting the Earth’s natural equilibrium. The economic slowdown from COVID-19 did not have any discernible impact on atmospheric levels of greenhouse gases and their growth rates, although there was a temporary decline in new emissions. Roughly half of carbon dioxide emitted by human activities today remains in the atmosphere. The other half is taken up by oceans and land ecosystems, but their ability to act as “sinks” may become less effective in the future.

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WMO and others | The State of the Climate in Africa 2020

This report provides a snapshot of climate change trends and impacts in Africa, including sea level rise and the melting of the continent’s iconic glaciers. It highlights the region’s disproportionate vulnerability and shows how the potential benefits of investments in climate adaptation, weather and climate services and early warning systems far outweigh the costs. The report adds to the scientific evidence underlining the urgency of cutting global greenhouse gas emissions, stepping up climate ambition and increasing financing for adaptation. Greater weather and climate variability mean that up to 118 million extremely poor people in Africa may face drought, floods and extreme heat by 2030. Without response measures, poverty alleviation efforts will slow and gross domestic product could fall by up to 3 percent by 2050.

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UN | United in Science 2021

COVID-19 paused but did not slow the relentless advance of climate change. Record levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere commit the planet to dangerous future warming, according to a new report that links the latest findings from across the United Nations. Rising global temperatures are fuelling extreme weather throughout the world, impacting economies and societies. The average global temperature for the past five years was among the highest on record, and the scale of recent changes across the global climate system is unprecedented over many centuries to many thousands of years. Even with ambitious action to slow greenhouse gas emissions, sea levels will continue to rise and threaten low-lying islands and coastal populations throughout the world. The findings reinforce critical momentum behind climate action to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

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IPCC | Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis

Climate change is widespread, rapid and intensifying. That is the key finding of the latest scientific report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. It finds changes in the Earth’s climate in every region and across the whole climate system. Many changes are unprecedented in thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of years. Some, such as continued sea-level rise, are irreversible over hundreds to thousands of years. The report points to strong and sustained reductions in emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases to limit climate change. Benefits for air quality would come quickly, while global temperatures would take 20-30 years to stabilize. The report, issued by the IPCC’s Working Group I and approved by 195 member governments, is the first in a series leading up to the 2022 IPCC Sixth Assessment Report. It includes a closer look at the regional dimensions of climate change and builds on advances in attributing specific weather and climate events to climate change.

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WMO | State of the Global Climate 2020

The State of the Global Climate 2020 finds the year was one of the three warmest on record, despite a cooling La Niña event. The global average temperature was about 1.2° Celsius above the pre-industrial (1850-1900) level. The six years since 2015 have been the warmest on record, with 2011-2020 the warmest decade on record. The report documents indicators of the climate system, including greenhouse gas concentrations, increasing land and ocean temperatures, sea level rise, melting ice and glacier retreat and extreme weather. It also highlights impacts on socioeconomic development, migration and displacement, food security and land and marine ecosystems.

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WMO | Greenhouse Gas Bulletin

The global slowdown from the COVID-19 pandemic has not curbed rising levels of greenhouse gases, said the World Meteorological Organization in releasing its latest WMO Greenhouse Gas Bulletin. Carbon dioxide levels have pushed past another record threshold, after rising in 2019 at a rate faster than the average for the last 10 years.

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WMO | The State of the Climate in Africa (2019)

Increasing temperatures and sea levels, changing precipitation patterns and more extreme weather are threatening human health and safety, food and water security and socio-economic development in Africa, according to the State of the Climate in Africa Report devoted exclusively to the continent. The report provides a snapshot of current and future climate trends and associated impacts on the economy and sensitive sectors like agriculture. It highlights lessons for climate action in Africa and identifies pathways for addressing critical gaps and challenges.

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WMO | State of Climate Services (2020)

Between 1970 and 2019, 79% of disasters worldwide involved weather, water, and climate-related hazards. These disasters accounted for 56% of deaths and 75% of economic losses from disasters associated with natural hazards reported during that period. As climate change continues to threaten human lives, ecosystems and economies, risk information and early warning systems (EWS) are increasingly seen as key for reducing these impacts. This latest WMO report highlights progress made in EWS capacity – and identifies where and how governments can invest in effective EWS to strengthen countries’ resilience to multiple weather, water and climate-related hazards.

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WMO | United in Science (2020)

Climate change has not stopped for COVID19. United in Science 2020, a new multi-agency report from leading science organizations, highlights the increasing and irreversible impacts of climate change, which affects glaciers, oceans, nature, economies and human living conditions and is often felt through water-related hazards like drought or flooding. It also documents how COVID-19 has impeded our ability to monitor these changes through the global observing system.

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WMO | State of the Global Climate (2019)

The tell-tale physical signs of climate change, such as increasing land and ocean heat, accelerating sea level rise and melting ice, contributed to making 2019 the second warmest year on record according to a new report compiled by a network led by the World Meteorological Organization. The report documents the increasing impacts of weather and climate events on socio-economic development, human health, migration and displacement, food security and land and marine ecosystems.

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WMO | State of the Global Climate (2018)

The physical signs and socio-economic impacts of climate change are accelerating as record greenhouse gas concentrations drive global temperatures towards increasingly dangerous levels, according to a new report from the World Meteorological Organization.

The WMO Statement on the State of the Global Climate in 2018 , its 25th anniversary edition, highlights record sea level rise, as well as exceptionally high land and ocean temperatures over the past four years. This warming trend has lasted since the start of this century and is expected to continue.

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IPCC | Climate Report (2018)

Limiting global warming to 1.5ºC would require rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said in a new assessment. With clear benefits to people and natural ecosystems, limiting global warming to 1.5ºC compared to 2ºC could go hand in hand with ensuring a more sustainable and equitable society.

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WMO | Greenhouse Gas Bulletin (2018)

The WMO Greenhouse Gas Bulletin reports on atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases in the earth’s atmosphere. The report found that levels of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have reached another new record high, according to the World Meteorological Organization. There is no sign of a reversal in this trend, which is driving long-term climate change, sea level rise, ocean acidification and more extreme weather.

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IPCC | AR5 Synthesis Report: Climate Change (2014)

The Synthesis Report (SYR) of the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) provides an overview of the state of knowledge concerning the science of climate change. It shows that human influence on the climate system is clear, and recent anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases are the highest in history. Recent climate changes have had widespread impacts on human and natural systems.

Limiting Climate Change

This report by a UN-backed panel of experts confirms that the ozone layer is successfully recovering, thanks to a phase-out of nearly 99 per cent of banned ozone-depleting substances through the Montreal Protocol. The efforts to protect the ozone layer have also helped address climate change, allowing the world to avoid up to 0.5°C of warming by 2100, thanks to a phase-down of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which are powerful greenhouse gases. In its quadrennial report, the Scientific Assessment Panel to the Montreal Protocol on Ozone Depleting Substances for the first time also examines geoengineering and warns of unintended impacts on the ozone layer of technologies such as the intentional addition of aerosols into the stratosphere, known as stratospheric aerosol injection (SAI). SAI has been proposed as a potential method to reduce climate warming by increasing sunlight reflection.

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UNEP | The State of the World’s Peatlands

The Global Peatlands Assessment, which is the most comprehensive assessment to-date, shows that the Earth is losing 500,000 hectares of peatlands a year, while already drained and degraded peatlands contribute around 4 per cent of annual global human-induced emissions.

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WMO | State of the Climate in Asia 2021

The State of the Climate in Asia 2021 report highlights how climate change impacts are wreaking an ever-increasing human, financial and environmental toll, worsening food insecurity and poverty and holding back sustainable development. Economic losses from drought, floods and landslides have rocketed in Asia. In 2021 alone, weather and water-related hazards caused total damage of US$ 35.6 billion, affecting nearly 50 million people.

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UNEP | 2022 Global Status Report for Buildings and Construction

The report provides an annual snapshot of the progress of the buildings and construction sector on a global scale and reviews the status of policies, finance, technologies, and solutions to monitor whether the sector is aligned with the Paris Agreement goals.

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The Executive Action Plan for the Early Warnings for All initiative calls for initial new targeted investments between 2023 and 2027 of US$3.1 billion – a sum which would be dwarfed by the benefits. This is about 6 percent of the requested US$ 50 billion in adaptation financing. It would cover disaster risk knowledge, observations and forecasting, preparedness and response, and communication of early warnings.

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UNEP | Adaptation Gap 2022

As climate impacts intensify across the globe, countries must dramatically increase funding and implementation of actions designed to help vulnerable nations and communities adapt to the climate storm, according to the latest UN Environment Programme Emissions Gap Report.

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UN Climate Change | Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Agreement (2022)

A synthesis of nationally determined contributions required under the Paris Agreement underlines that efforts remain insufficient to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 °C by the end of the century. According to the report, the combined climate pledges of 193 Parties under the Paris Agreement could put the world on track for around 2.5 degrees Celsius of warming by the end of the century. Current commitments are projected to increase emissions by 10.6% by 2030, compared to 2010 levels – an improvement over last year’s assessment, which found countries were on a path to increase emissions by 13.7% by 2030 – but far from the 45% decrease needed to limit temperature rise to 1.5 °C.

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UNICEF | The coldest year of the rest of their lives: Protecting children from the escalating impacts of heatwaves

Latest research from UNICEF shows that 559 million children are currently exposed to high heatwave frequency, where there are on average 4.5 or more heatwaves per year. Further, 624 million children are exposed to one of three other high heat measures - high heatwave duration, high heatwave severity or extreme high temperatures. It warns that even at lower levels of global heating, in just three decades, more regular heatwaves are unavoidable for children everywhere.

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OCHA/IFRC | Extreme heat: Preparing for the heatwaves of the future

Heatwaves already kill thousands of people every year, and they will become deadlier with every further increment of climate change. They demand a humanitarian response that is locally grounded, that acts quickly with data and analysis, and that works in partnerships with local governments, civil society, and development actors to protect the most vulnerable people.

recent report of ipcc

WMO | 2022 State of Climate Services: Energy

The supply of electricity from clean energy sources must double within the next eight years to limit global temperature increase. Otherwise, there is a risk that climate change, more extreme weather and water stress will undermine our energy security and even jeopardize renewable energy supplies, according to a new multi-agency report from the World Meteorological Organization.

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UNDRR | Global status of multi-hazard early warning systems

A report from the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction and the World Meteorological Organization warns that half of the countries globally are not protected by multi-hazard early warning systems.

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UNU-EHS | Interconnected Disaster Risks 2022

In recent years, the world has witnessed catastrophic disasters, from record-breaking heat waves to floods, extreme droughts, wildfires and earthquakes. The latest edition of the Interconnected Disaster Risks report analyzes ten disasters around the world, looking at how they are correlated, share the same root causes compounded by the same issues and should no longer be viewed in isolation.

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ILO and IRENA | Renewable Energy and Jobs: Annual Review 2022

The new report by the International Renewable Energy Agency in collaboration with the International Labour Organization provides the latest estimates of renewable energy employment globally.

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REN21 | Renewables 2022 Global Status Report

We are facing the biggest global energy crisis in history with rising energy consumption and a hike in fossil fuel use which is outpacing growth in renewables in 2021, warns a new report from REN21.

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WHO | Climate action must include mental health

Climate change exacerbates social, environmental, and economic risk factors, directly impacting the mental health and psychosocial wellbeing of many communities, warns a new policy brief from the World Health Organization which recommends key approaches to address the growing impact.

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UNCCD | Global Land Outlook 2022

The way land resources – soil, water, and biodiversity – are currently mismanaged and misused threatens the health and continued survival of many species on Earth, including our own, warns a stark new report from the UN Convention to Combat Desertification.

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UNDRR | Our World at Risk

COVID-19 and climate change are rapidly making it clear that, in today’s crowded and interconnected world, disaster impacts increasingly cascade across geographies and sectors. Despite progress, risk creation is outstripping risk reduction, warns the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction’s latest report.

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WMO | State of the Climate in Latin America and the Caribbean 2020

This is the first report of its kind for Latin America and the Caribbean and it shows that the region is facing increasing temperatures, glaciers retreat, sea-level rise, ocean acidification, coral reefs bleaching, land and marine heatwaves, intense tropical cyclones, floods, droughts, and wildfires. The impacts to most vulnerable communities, including the Small Islands Develop States, have been substantial and exacerbated by the COVID-19 outbreak. The report emphasizes the need to enhance climate resilience through identified pathways, such as ecosystem-based responses, as well as strengthened climate services and multi-hazard early warning systems.

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WMO | State of the Climate in South-West Pacific 2020

This report provides informed climate analysis and climate change trends for states and territories across the vast South-West Pacific Ocean, the adjacent oceanic areas north of the equator and the eastern parts of the Indian Ocean. The first report of its kind, it highlights the real and potential risks associated with the changes occurring in ocean circulation, temperature, acidification and deoxygenation, as well as rising sea-level. Climate and extreme weather events had major and diverse impacts on population movements and on the vulnerability of people already on the move in the region throughout 2020. Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted socio-economic development in the region, affecting key drivers of growth and revealing gaps in countries’ capacities for addressing systemic and cascading risk. Addressing the rising climate risks and associated impacts requires local, regional and transnational capacity building, development of climate services and integrated disaster risk reduction approaches.

recent report of ipcc

UNEP| The Adaptation Gap Report 2021: The Gathering Storm

A new report calls for urgent efforts to increase the financing and implementation of actions to adapt to the growing impacts of climate change. While policies and planning are increasing for climate change adaptation, financing and implementation are still far behind. Moreover, countries have largely missed the opportunity to use the pandemic recovery to prioritize green economic growth and adapt to climate impacts such as droughts, storms and wildfire. The report finds that the costs of adaptation are likely in the higher end of an estimated $140-300 billion per year by 2030 and $280-500 billion per year by 2050 for developing countries only. Estimated adaptation costs in developing countries are five to 10 times greater than current public adaptation finance flows, and the gap is widening.

recent report of ipcc

UNDP| Showing Promise: The State of Climate Ambition

The Paris Agreement’s “ratchet mechanism”, where countries regularly recalibrate and increase the ambition of climate goals, is working according to this report. But small island developing States and least developed countries are leading the way on greater ambition despite contributing only a marginal share of global emissions. The report stresses that it is time for the G20 countries to step up given that they emit the most. In reviewing the most recent national climate action plans, known as nationally determined contributions, the report finds that they are higher quality, more inclusive and country driven than in an earlier round. But finance remains a key hurdle. While countries are increasingly engaging the private sector as critical to scaled up climate action, they are not adequately defining needs in just transition processes. Issues related to gender equality and youth feature more prominently yet more needs to be done to capitalize on the potential of these groups as climate actors and leaders.

recent report of ipcc

WMO and others | The State of the Climate in Asia 2020

Extreme weather and climate change impacts across Asia in 2020 caused the loss of life of thousands of people, displaced millions of others and cost hundreds of billions of dollars, while wreaking a heavy toll on infrastructure and ecosystems. Sustainable development is threatened, with food and water insecurity, health risks and environmental degradation on the rise. A new report provides an overview of land and ocean temperatures, precipitation, glacier retreat, shrinking sea ice, sea level rise and severe weather. It examines socioeconomic impacts in a year when the region was also struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic, which in turn complicated disaster management. The report shows how every part of Asia was affected, from Himalayan peaks to low-lying coastal areas, from densely populated cities to deserts and from the Arctic to the Arabian seas.

recent report of ipcc

UNEP | Emissions Gap Report 2021: The Heat Is On

New and updated climate commitments fall far short of Paris Agreement goals, leaving the world on track for a global temperature rise of at least 2.7°C this century. The latest Emissions Gap Report finds that updated national commitments for reducing emissions by 2030 only shave an additional 7.5 per cent off predicted annual totals. Reductions of 55 per cent are needed to stay on course in keeping global temperature rise to 1.5°C. Net-zero pledges could make a big difference if fully implemented, restraining predicted global temperature rise to 2.2°C. This provides hope that further action could still head off the most catastrophic impacts of climate change. But net-zero pledges are vague and incomplete in many cases. To stay at no more than 1.5°C, the world has eight years to take an additional 28 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent off annual emissions, above what has already been promised. Current annual emissions are close to 60 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent.

recent report of ipcc

UN Climate Change | Nationally Determined Contributions Under the Paris Agreement: Revised Note by the Secretariat

An updated synthesis of climate action plans communicated in Nationally Determined Contributions confirms overall trends identified in a full report released in September 2021. The update provides the last information to inform global climate talks at COP26. It synthesizes information from the 165 latest available NDCs, representing all 192 Parties to the Paris Agreement, including the 116 new or updated NDCs communicated by 143 Parties on 12 October 2021. For these 143 Parties, total emissions are estimated to be about 9 per cent below the 2010 level by 2030. Some 71 Parties communicated a carbon neutrality goal around mid-century, with their emissions levels up to 88 per cent lower in 2050 than in 2019. For all available NDCs of all 192 Parties, however, a sizable increase of about 16 per cent in global emissions is expected by 2030 compared to 2010. This may lead to a temperature rise of about 2.7°C by the end of the century.

recent report of ipcc

UNEP and others | 2021 Production Gap Report

The 2021 Production Gap Report finds that despite increased climate ambitions and net-zero commitments, governments plan to produce more than double the amount of fossil fuels in 2030 than what would be consistent with limiting global warming to 1.5°C. Over the next two decades, governments are collectively projecting an increase in global oil and gas production, and only a modest decrease in coal production. Taken together, plans and projections see global, total fossil fuel production rising to at least 2040. The report provides country profiles for 15 major producer countries, where most governments continue to provide significant policy support for fossil fuel production. They include Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Norway, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States. Recent scientific evidence clearly confirms that unless global coal, oil, and gas production start declining immediately and steeply, warming will exceed 1.5°C and result in catastrophic consequences 

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WHO | Special Report on Climate Change and Health

The Special Report on Climate Change and Health spells out the global health community’s prescription for climate action based on growing research that establishes inseparable links between climate and health. The report was launched with an open letter signed by over two thirds of the global health workforce – 300 organizations representing at least 45 million doctors and health professionals worldwide. They call on national leaders and climate talks to step up climate action. Unprecedented extreme weather events and other climate impacts are taking a rising toll on people’s lives and health. Increasingly frequent heatwaves, storms and floods kill thousands and disrupt millions of lives, while threatening health-care systems and facilities when they are needed most. Changes in weather and climate also undercut food security and drive up food-, water- and vector-borne diseases, such as malaria. Climate impacts are also negatively affecting mental health. 

recent report of ipcc

WMO | The State of Climate Services 2021: Water

A new report urges the world to wake up to the looming water crisis. Water-related hazards like floods and droughts are increasing because of climate change. The number of people suffering water stress is expected to soar, exacerbated by population increases and dwindling availability. But management, monitoring, forecasting and early warnings are fragmented and inadequate, while global climate finance efforts are insufficient. The State of Climate Services 2021: Water highlights the need for urgent action to improve cooperative water management, embrace integrated water and climate policies, and scale up investment in this precious commodity. It underpins all international goals on sustainable development, climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction.

Photocomposition: wmo report cover shows the shadows of people walking on a mountain agains a sunset horizon

WMO | Climate Indicators and Sustainable Development: Demonstrating the Interconnections

Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 largely depends on addressing human-induced climate change. A new report demonstrates connections between global climate and the goals. It champions the need for greater international collaboration to both achieve the SDGs and limit global warming to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius. A story map highlights seven climate indicators with impacts across the global goals: carbon dioxide concentration, temperature, ocean acidification, ocean heat content, sea-ice extent, glacier mass balance and sea-level rise. The report examines the implications of the latest data and scientific research on the state of the global climate for sustainable development, highlighting how the climate is already changing in ways that may impede progress on the SDGs.

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UNFCCC | Nationally determined contributions under the Paris Agreement

A synthesis of nationally determined contributions required under the Paris Agreement indicates that while there is a clear trend in reducing greenhouse gas emissions over time, nations must urgently redouble climate efforts to prevent global temperature from crossing a dangerous threshold of 1.5 degrees Celsius. The report includes information from all 191 Parties to the Paris Agreement based on their latest NDCs, including 86 updated or new NDCs submitted by 113 Parties. The new or updated NDCs cover about 49 per cent of global emissions. For the 113 Parties, greenhouse gas emissions are projected to decrease by 12% in 2030 compared to 2010. This is an important step towards the 45 per cent reduction in 2030 required to keep to the 1.5 degree goal. NDCs of all 191 Parties, however, imply a sizable 16 per cent increase in global emissions in 2030. Without immediate action, this could lead to a temperature rise of about 2.7 degrees Celsius by the end of the century.

WMO | Atlas of Mortality and Economic Losses from Weather, Climate and Water Extremes

A comprehensive new report finds that a disaster related to a weather, climate or water hazard occurred every day on average over the past 50 years, killing 115 people and causing $202 million in losses each day. The number of disasters increased by five times; economic losses rose sevenfold. But improved early warnings and disaster management reduced deaths by almost threefold. Cumulatively, more than 11,000 disasters were reported, with just over 2 million deaths and $3.64 trillion in losses. Weather, climate and water hazards accounted for 50 per cent of these disasters and nearly half of deaths, 91 per cent of which occurred in developing countries. Of the top 10 disasters, the largest human losses came from droughts, storms, floods and extreme temperature. Storms and floods generated the greatest economic costs. Three storms in 2017 alone accounted for a third of total economic losses from the top 10 disasters over the 50-year period.

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UNICEF | The Climate Crisis Is a Child Rights Crisis

At least 1 billion children live in 33 countries that are at extremely high risk from multiple climate and environmental shocks, according to the new Children’s Climate Risk Index. It offers the first comprehensive analysis of climate risk from a child’s perspective. The index ranks countries based on children’s exposure to shocks such as cyclones and heatwaves. It also considers children's vulnerability from gaps in essential services such as for education and health care. While nearly every child in the world is at risk from at least one climate or environmental hazard, the worst affected countries face multiple and often overlapping shocks that threaten to erode development progress and deepen child deprivation.

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WMO | Hydromet Gap Report

Each year, the world could save an estimated 23,000 lives and gain $162 billion in benefits from improving weather forecasts, early warning systems and climate information, known as hydromet. That’s the conclusion of the first Hydromet Gap Report. It shows how far the world has to go to tap the benefits of effective weather and climate services, but also highlights how investments in multi-hazard early warning systems create benefits worth at least 10 times their costs. These are vital to build resilience to extreme weather, yet only 40 percent of countries currently have effective warning systems in place. Large gaps remain in vital data upon which these services depend, particularly in the least developed countries and small island developing States.

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IRENA | World Energy Transitions Outlook

Accelerating energy transitions in line with a livable climate could double the number of energy jobs, up to 122 million by 2050, according to a new report. It also finds a substantial boost to the global economy of 2.4 per cent over the expected growth of current plans within the next decade. The report predicts that renewables-based energy systems will instigate profound changes that will reverberate across economies and societies. Sharp adjustments in capital flows and a reorientation of investments are necessary to align energy with a positive economic and environmental trajectory. Forward-looking policies can accelerate transition, mitigate uncertainties, and ensure maximum benefits of energy transition. The annual investment of USD 4.4 trillion needed on average is high but feasible.

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United Nations | Special Report on Drought 2021

Drought affects millions of people, especially the most vulnerable. The impacts reach across societies, ecosystems and economies. With climate change increasing temperatures and disrupting rainfall, drought frequency, severity and duration are on the rise many regions. This requires urgent action to better manage risks and reduce devastating tolls on human lives and livelihoods. The Special Report on Drought 2021 empha¬sizes solutions in managing drought risks and calls for a sharper focus on prevention by addressing root drivers of drought and socioecological vulnerability. It stresses that risk prevention and mitigation have a far lower cost than reaction and response, and offers recommendations on how to achieve drought resilience.

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REN21 | Renewables 2021 Global Status Report

2020 could have been a gamechanger. With economies worldwide ravaged by COVID-19, primary energy demand fell by 4 per cent. Yet G20 countries, the planet’s biggest polluters, barely met or even missed their unambitious renewable energy targets. The Renewables 2021 Global Status Report shows that the world is nowhere near the necessary paradigm shift towards a clean, healthier and more equitable energy future, even as the benefits of renewables are indisputable. In many regions, it is now cheaper to build new wind or solar PV plants than to operate existing coal-fired power plants. The report suggests accelerating the uptake of renewable energy by making it a key performance indicator for every economic activity, budget and public purchase, and adopting clear targets and plans to shift to renewable energy and end fossil fuel use.

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CDB and the UN Global Compact | Taking the Temperature

New research finds that the G7 stock indexes are not currently on a 2°C pathway, much less the 1.5°C one that is so urgently needed. Fossil fuels are a key contributor to the emissions of all seven. Taking the Temperature: Assessing and scaling-up climate ambition in the G7 business sector also finds that indexes with a higher share of emissions covered by science-based targets for reductions result in lower overall temperature ratings. Companies with such targets are already cutting emissions at scale, and despite the findings, momentum for climate action in G7 countries is growing. Overall, 2020 was a milestone year for climate commitments, with the annual rate of adoption of science-based targets doubling compared to 2015-2019. The report maps four key levers that governments, investors and businesses can use to unlock breakthrough climate action through such targets.

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IEA and others | Tracking SDG 7: The Energy Progress Report

More people have access to electricity than ever before but unless efforts are scaled up significantly in countries with the largest deficits, the world will still fall short of ensuring universal access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy by 2030 in line with the Sustainable Development Goals. While more than 1 billion people gained access to electricity globally over the last decade, COVID-19’s financial impact has made basic electricity services unaffordable for 30 million more people, the majority in Africa. Under current and planned policies, and given fallout from the pandemic, an estimated 660 million people would still lack access in 2030. The report examines how to bridge the gaps, such as by significantly scaling up renewable energy. It tracks international public financial flows to developing countries, finding these reached $14 billion for clean and renewable energy in 2018. But only 20 percent went to the least-developed countries, which are furthest from achieving SDG energy targets.

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Climate and Clean Air Coalition and UNEP | Global Methane Assessment

The 2021 Global Methane Assessment shows that human-caused methane emissions can be reduced by up to 45 per cent this decade, avoiding nearly 0.3°C of global warming by 2045. Because methane is a key ingredient in ground-level ozone (smog), a powerful climate forcer and dangerous air pollutant, a 45 per cent reduction would prevent 260,000 premature deaths, 775,000 asthma-related hospital visits, 73 billion hours of lost labour from extreme heat and 25 million tonnes of crop losses annually. Most human-caused methane emissions come from three sectors: fossil fuels, waste and agriculture. The assessment identifies readily available solutions to reduce methane emissions. Half are not only low in cost, but would even make money, such as through reducing leaks in the oil and gas industry.

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REN21 | Renewables in Cities 2021 Global Status Report

Cities around the world are accelerating uptake of renewable energy, adopting targets and policies to spur local consumption and generation. This makes a critical contribution to climate action, since cities shelter more than half the global population and use three-quarters of global final energy consumption. REN21’s Renewables in Cities Global Status Report surveys the status and prospects of renewable energy in cities, detailing policies, markets, investments and citizen actions. It puts particular focus on renewables in public, residential and commercial buildings as well as public and private transport. Covering urban areas from towns to mega-cities, the report builds on more than 330 data contributors, and is endorsed by major renewable energy players and city networks.

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UNEP and others | Are We Building Back Better?

One year into the pandemic, recovery spending has fallen fall short of national commitments to shift to more sustainable investments. A new report finds only 18 per cent of announced recovery spending in 50 leading economies can be considered “green”. That totals about $368 billion of $14.4 trillion in COVID-induced spending on rescue and recovery in 2020. The report calls for governments to invest more sustainably, emphasizing that green recovery can bring stronger economic growth, while helping to meet global environmental targets and addressing structural inequality. To keep decades of progress against poverty from unwinding, low-income countries will require substantial concessional finance from international partners.

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UNEP | Food Waste Index Report 2021

People waste a substantial share of food, which is associated with up to 10 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Until now, the true scale of food waste and its impacts have not been well understood. Efforts to reduce it have been minimal, despite a global Sustainable Development Goal commitment to halving per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels. The Food Waste Index Report generates a new estimate of global food waste, and offers a methodology for countries to measure the problem and track national progress on reducing it.

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UNFCCC | Initial NDC Synthesis Report

The Initial NDC Synthesis Report shows nations must redouble efforts and submit stronger, more ambitious national climate action plans in 2021. That will be the only way to achieve the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global temperature rise ideally by no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius. The report looks at 75 new or updated action plans – known as NDCs – covering around 30 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Together, they would cut emissions by less than 1 per cent by 2030 compared to 2010 levels. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has indicated that emissions should be around 45 per cent lower.

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Science Based Targets | Progress Report 2020

From Ambition to Impact: How companies are reducing emissions at scale with science-based targets is the first study to look at how setting science-based targets correlates with actually reducing corporate emissions. The study surveyed 338 companies with such targets, finding they have slashed combined emissions by 25 per cent since 2015. Annual emissions declined at a rate exceeding the one required to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Further, 2020 saw a milestone: the doubling of science-based climate commitments.

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UN Environment | Global Climate Litigation Report: 2020 Status Review

The report provides an overview of the current state of climate change litigation globally, finding a rapid increase around the world. In 2017, 884 cases were brought in 24 countries. By July 2020, the number of cases had nearly doubled with at least 1,550 filed in 38 countries. The report shows how climate litigation is compelling governments and corporate actors to purse more ambitious climate change mitigation and adaptation goals. It looks at the role of fundamental human rights connected to a safe climate, and outlines how cases are forcing greater climate disclosures and ending “corporate greenwashing”.

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UN Environment | Adaptation Gap Report (2020)

The UNEP Adaptation Gap Report 2020 looks at progress in planning for, financing and implementing adaptation, with a focus on nature-based solutions. It finds some advances in planning, but also huge gaps in finance for developing countries. Implementation of adaptation projects lags behind, with many not yet delivering real protection against climate impacts such as droughts, floods and sea-level rise. The report calls for closing the gaps fast, and prioritizing nature-based solutions, or locally appropriate actions offering benefits to people and nature.

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UN Environment | Emissions Gap Report (2020)

Go green with pandemic recovery packages. That’s the message of the 2020 Emissions Gap Report. It predicts that green recovery could shave emissions by 25 per cent by 2030, bringing the world closer to Paris Agreement goals to limit global warming. Despite a recent dip in emissions from lockdowns and slowing economies, temperatures are still rising at a record clip.

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UNEP | Production Gap Report

The world must cut fossil fuel production by 6 per cent per year to avoid the worst of global warming. Instead, countries are projecting an average annual increase of 2 per cent. Those are among the sobering findings of the latest Production Gap Report, issued by leading research organizations and the United Nations. The report urges making COVID-19 recovery a turning point, where countries should steer investments into changing course to avoid “locking in” dependence on polluting coal, oil and gas.

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UN | Report of the Secretary-General (2019)

September’s Climate Action Summit delivered important new actions, a surge in climate momentum, and a clear destination: 45% emissions cuts by 2030 on the way to a carbon neutral world by 2050. The Secretary-General’s report on the outcomes of the Summit highlights the way forward in 2020, and outlines ten priority areas of action.

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UN Environment | Emissions Gap Report (2019)

As the world strives to cut greenhouse gas emissions and limit climate change, it is crucial to track progress towards globally agreed climate goals. For a decade, UNEP’s Emissions Gap Report has compared where greenhouse gas emissions are heading against where they need to be, and highlighted the best ways to close the gap.

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UNDP | Global Outlook Report (2019)

The UN Development Programme (UNDP) and UN Climate Change (UNFCCC) have been working together since 2014 to support countries in developing their national climate plans --Nationally Determined Contributions for the Paris Agreement or NDCs. This report is the most detailed review yet of momentum since the Paris Agreement and is designed to both inspire and inform the UN Climate Action Summit in New York on 23 September.

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IPCC | Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (2019)

The IPCC Special Report highlights the urgency of prioritizing timely, ambitious and coordinated action to address unprecedented and enduring changes in the ocean and cryosphere. Without a radical change in human behavior, hundreds of millions of people could suffer from rising sea levels, frequent natural disasters and food shortages, it warns.

The Special Report provides new evidence for the benefits of limiting global warming to the lowest possible level – in line with the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement. It also finds that strongly reducing greenhouse gas emissions, protecting and restoring ecosystems, and carefully managing the use of natural resources would make it possible to preserve the ocean and cryosphere.

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UNFCCC | Climate Action and Support Trends (2019)

The report “Climate Action and Support Trends” was prepared as UN Climate Change input to the UN Climate Action Summit, and it puts a spotlight on the progress made over the past 25 years since the inception of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). This can help in scaling up further action, as governments prepare to submit the next round of national climate action plans, known as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), by 2020.

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IPCC | Climate Change and Land (2019)

Land is already under growing human pressure and climate change is adding to these pressures. At the same time, keeping global warming to well below 2ºC can be achieved only by reducing greenhouse gas emissions from all sectors including land and food, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) states in its latest report.

The report provides key scientific input into forthcoming climate and environment negotiations, such as the Conference of the Parties of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (COP14) in New Delhi, India in September and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference (COP25) in Santiago, Chile, in December.

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UN Environment | Emissions Gap Report (2018)

The flagship report from UN Environment is the definitive assessment of the 'emissions gap' – the gap between anticipated emission levels in 2030, compared to levels consistent with a 2°C / 1.5°C target. It found that global emissions are on the rise as national commitments to combat climate change come up short. But surging momentum from the private sector and untapped potential from innovation and green-financing offer pathways to bridge the emissions gap.

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The New Climate Economy (2018)

The next 2-3 years are a critical window when many of the policy and investment decisions that shape the next 10-15 years will be taken. The New Climate Economy report found that leaders are already seizing the exciting economic and market opportunities of the new growth approach, while the laggards are not only missing out on these opportunities but are also putting us all at greater risk. More than US$26 trillion and a more sustainable planet are on offer, if everyone gets on board.

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UNCCD | Drought in Numbers 2022

Throughout the world, people are feeling the impacts of the climate and environmental crises most strongly through water: the land is drying up, fertile grounds are turning to dust and drought is prevailing. Since 1970, weather, climate and water hazards accounted for 50 percent of all disasters and 45 percent of all reported deaths. The UN Convention to Combat Desertification’s Drought in Numbers report looks at worrying trends in the duration and intensity of droughts and the devastating impact on ecological systems and human survival.

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UNEP | Frontiers Report 2022

The Frontiers Report warns of intensifying environmental issues, including wildfires, urban noise pollution and phenological mismatches, that require greater attention.

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UN WATER | The United Nations World Water Development Report 2022

A new report from UN Water looks at how groundwater is central to the fight against poverty, food and water security, the creation of decent jobs, socio-economic development, and the resilience of societies and economies to climate change. The report also describes the challenges and opportunities associated with the development, management, and governance of groundwater across the world.

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GCRMN/ICRI | The Sixth Status of Corals of the World: 2020 Report

Coral reefs support at least 25 per cent of marine species and underpin the safety, coastal protection, well-being, food and economic security of hundreds of millions of people. They provide goods and services valued at $2.7 trillion per year. But coral reefs are among the most vulnerable ecosystems to global threats from climate change and ocean acidification, and local impacts from land-based pollution such as input of nutrients and sediments from agriculture, marine pollution, and overfishing and destructive fishing practices. The Status of Coral Reefs of the World report describes the status and trends of coral reefs. The sixth edition is the first based on the quantitative analysis of a global dataset spanning more than 40 years and comprising almost 2 million observations from more than 12,000 sites around the world.

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World Bank | The Economic Case for Nature

A new World Bank report estimates that the collapse of select ecosystem services provided by nature – such as wild pollination, provision of food from marine fisheries and timber from native forests – could result in a decline in global gross domestic product (GDP) of $2.7 trillion annually by 2030. The report underscores the strong reliance of economies on nature, particularly in low-income countries. It highlights that sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia would suffer the greatest GDP contractions at 9.7 per cent and 6.5 per cent annually, respectively. This is due to a reliance on pollinated crops and, in sub-Saharan Africa, on forest products, as well as a limited ability to switch to other production and consumption options that would be less affected.

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IPBES and IPCC | Biodiversity and Climate Change

Unprecedented changes in climate and biodiversity, driven by human activities, have combined and increasingly threaten nature, human lives, livelihoods and well-being around the world. Biodiversity loss and climate change are both driven by human economic activities and mutually reinforce each other. A report by 50 of the world’s leading biodiversity and climate experts summarizes findings from the first-ever collaboration between the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Biodiversity and Climate Change finds that previous policies have largely tackled biodiversity loss and climate change independently of each other, but neither will be successfully resolved unless both are tackled together. Doing so while also considering social impacts offers opportunities to maximize benefits and meet global development goals.

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UN Environment | Making Peace with Nature

Making Peace with Nature lays out the gravity of the Earth’s triple environmental emergencies – climate, biodiversity loss and pollution – through a unique synthesis of findings from major global assessments. It flags interlinkages between environmental and development challenges and describes the roles of all parts of society in the transformations needed for a sustainable future. Advances in science and bold policymaking can open pathways towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 and a carbon neutral world by 2050, while bending the curve on biodiversity loss and curbing pollution and waste. Taking that path means innovation and investment only in activities that protect both people and nature; COVID-19 recovery plans are an unmissable opportunity to do so.

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CBD | The Global Biodiversity Outlook 5 Report (2020)

Despite encouraging progress in several areas, the natural world is suffering badly and getting worse. The Global Biodiversity Outlook 5 (GBO-5) calls for a shift away from “business as usual” across a range of human activities. The report outlines eight transitions that recognize the value of biodiversity, the need to restore the ecosystems on which all human activity de-pends, and the urgency of reducing the negative impacts of such activity. It also shows that governments will need to scale up national ambitions in support of the new Global Biodiversity Framework and ensure that all necessary resources are mobilized, and the enabling environment strengthened.

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UNEP | Global Environment Outlook (2019)

UN Environment’s sixth Global Environment Outlook (2019) calls on decision makers to take immediate action to address pressing environmental issues to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals as well as other Internationally Agreed Environment Goals, such as the Paris Agreement.

By bringing together a community of hundreds of scientists, peer reviewers and collaborating institutions and partners, the GEO reports build on sound scientific knowledge to provide governments, local authorities, businesses and individual citizens with the information needed to guide societies to a truly sustainable world by 2050.

Finance and Economy

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UNEP | The 2022 State of Finance for Nature report

The State of Finance for Nature report underpins that with sufficient finance, nature-based solutions provide benefits that contribute to climate, biodiversity and land restoration goals in an integrated manner while also promoting human wellbeing. This “triple” win potential is particularly alluring given the current global economic situation. Yet, nature-based solutions are significantly underfinanced, revealed the report.

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UNEP | The State of Finance for Nature in the G20 report

G20 country investments in nature-based solutions need to reach US$285 billion a year by 2050 to address the interrelated climate, biodiversity, and land degradation crises. However, current G20 spending is only USD 120 billion/year. The new report also reveals that the spending gap in non-G20 countries is larger and more difficult to bridge, but only 2 per cent of the G20’s US$120 billion investment was directed towards official development assistance in 2020. Similarly, private sector investments remain small, at US$14 billion a year.

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IEA and others | Financing Clean Energy Transitions

Our energy and climate future increasingly hinges on decisions made in emerging market and developing economies, which face the challenge of meeting the aspirations of their citizens while avoiding high-carbon pathways. These economies are set to account for the largest emissions growth in coming decades unless sufficient action is taken to transform their energy systems. Yet efforts to support clean energy in them are faltering. The COVID-19 pandemic has stemmed the flow of new investments and exacerbated imbalances in access to capital. Countries will miss an opportunity to “build back better” unless the flow of new clean energy projects increases dramatically. Financing Clean Energy Transitions in Emerging and Developing Economies analyses the outlook for investment, assesses key issues in attracting finance, and provides advice on how policy reforms and financial mechanisms can mobilize and align private finance.

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UNEP FI | Collective Commitment to Climate Action

A new report outlines how 38 major banks from six continents are putting their portfolios and business practices behind the Collective Commitment to Climate Action. The initiative mobilizes banks to join the transition to a net-zero economy. Members are applying climate science and adopting policies to exclude financing activities that worsen global warming.

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Delivering on the $100 Billion Climate Finance Commitment and Transforming Climate Finance

Meeting the pledge by developed countries to mobilize at least US$100 billion a year to support developing countries in mitigating and adapting to climate change, lagging even before the COVID-19 pandemic, requires urgent action, according to a new report by independent experts released today by the United Nations.

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UNEP | Greening the Blue (2022)

The 2022 edition of the Report reveals the UN system accelerated efforts on environmental governance and environmental training in 2021. It highlights the 2021 environmental impacts of 307,000 personnel in 53 reporting entities across Headquarters, field offices and operations on the ground. It is composed of the 2021 data highlights, which are based on UN system-wide results, as well as more dynamic individual entity information that is provided by the Report’s data tables and entity-specific webpages.

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UNEP | Enabling Sustainable Lifestyles in a Climate Emergency

This Policy Brief by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) offers insights on what forces shape our lifestyles and sets out guidelines on how to remove carbon-intensive consumption options and how to integrate or scale up low-carbon alternatives, while offering fairer access for all and putting the sustainable lifestyles approach on the agenda of regional, national and local policymakers.

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UNEP | Greening the Blue Report (2021)

The 2021 edition of Greening the Blue is the first to reveal impacts from COVID-19 on the UN system’s environmental footprint. The report provides UN system-wide and entity-level data on environmental impacts related to greenhouse gas emissions, climate neutrality, waste, air pollution, water and wastewater, and biodiversity. It found that the UN system in 2020 generated approximately 25 per cent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than in 2019, given significant worldwide travel restrictions and many UN personnel working from home. In 2020, 19 per cent of UN electricity worldwide came from renewable energy. The UN system was able to offset 99 per cent of emissions. While offsetting is important in managing unavoidable emissions, the priority for the UN system remains emissions reductions and elimination.

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UNEP | Greening the Blue Report (2020)

The United Nations has released its latest annual stocktaking on its environmental impact. Greening the Blue 2020 finds a downward trend in emissions for nearly 60 UN system entities and 310,000 staff members. It also highlights advances in environmental management.

5 takeaways from the latest IPCC report

recent report of ipcc

We can still meet climate targets if we completely transform our economic models and outlook on how we interact with Earth's resources. Image:  Unsplash

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Climate change: IPCC report is 'code red for humanity'


Human activity is changing the climate in unprecedented and sometimes irreversible ways, a major UN scientific report has said.

The landmark study warns of increasingly extreme heatwaves, droughts and flooding, and a key temperature limit being broken in just over a decade.

The report "is a code red for humanity", says the UN chief.

But scientists say a catastrophe can be avoided if the world acts fast.

There is hope that deep cuts in emissions of greenhouse gases could stabilise rising temperatures.

Echoing the scientists' findings, UN Secretary General António Guterres said: "If we combine forces now, we can avert climate catastrophe. But, as today's report makes clear, there is no time for delay and no room for excuses. I count on government leaders and all stakeholders to ensure COP26 is a success."

The sober assessment of our planet's future has been delivered by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a group of scientists whose findings are endorsed by the world's governments.

Their report is the first major review of the science of climate change since 2013. Its release comes less than three months before a key climate summit in Glasgow known as COP26.

In strong, confident tones, the IPCC's document says "it is unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, oceans and land".


According to Prof Ed Hawkins, from the University of Reading, UK, and one of the report's authors, the scientists cannot be any clearer on this point.

"It is a statement of fact, we cannot be any more certain; it is unequivocal and indisputable that humans are warming the planet."

Petteri Taalas, Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization, said: "By using sports terms, one could say the atmosphere has been exposed to doping, which means we have begun observing extremes more often than before."

The authors say that since 1970, global surface temperatures have risen faster than in any other 50-year period over the past 2,000 years.

This warming is "already affecting many weather and climate extremes in every region across the globe".

Whether it's heatwaves like the ones recently experienced in Greece and western North America, or floods like those in Germany and China, "their attribution to human influence has strengthened" over the past decade.

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IPCC report key points

The new report also makes clear that the warming we've experienced to date has made changes to many of our planetary support systems that are irreversible on timescales of centuries to millennia.

The oceans will continue to warm and become more acidic. Mountain and polar glaciers will continue melting for decades or centuries.

"The consequences will continue to get worse for every bit of warming," said Prof Hawkins.

"And for many of these consequences, there's no going back."


When it comes to sea level rise, the scientists have modelled a likely range for different levels of emissions.

However, a rise of around 2m by the end of this century cannot be ruled out - and neither can a 5m rise by 2150.

Such outcomes, while unlikely, would threaten many millions more people in coastal areas with flooding by 2100.

One key aspect of the report is the expected rate of temperature rise and what it means for the safety of humanity.


Almost every nation on Earth signed up to the goals of the Paris climate agreement in 2015.

This pact aims to keep the rise in global temperatures well below 2C this century and to pursue efforts to keep it under 1.5C.

This new report says that under all the emissions scenarios considered by the scientists, both targets will be broken this century unless huge cuts in carbon take place.

recent report of ipcc

1.1°C The increase in temperature since pre-industrial times

2,400bn tonnes CO2 humans have emitted to date

500bn tonnes more would leave only a 50-50 chance of staying under 1.5°C

40bn tonnes Roughly amount of CO2 humanity emits every year

The authors believe that 1.5C will be reached by 2040 in all scenarios. If emissions aren't slashed in the next few years, this will happen even earlier.

This was predicted in the IPCC's special report on 1.5C in 2018 and this new study now confirms it.

"We will hit one-and-a-half degrees in individual years much earlier. We already hit it in two months during the El Niño in 2016," said Prof Malte Meinshausen, an IPCC author from the University of Melbourne in Australia.

"The new report's best estimate is the middle of 2034, but the uncertainty is huge and ranges between now and never."


The consequences of going past 1.5C over a period of years would be unwelcome in a world that has already experienced a rapid uptick in extreme events with a temperature rise since pre-industrial times of 1.1C.

"We will see even more intense and more frequent heatwaves," said Dr Friederike Otto, from the University of Oxford, UK, and one of the IPCC report's authors.

"And we will also see an increase in heavy rainfall events on a global scale, and also increases in some types of droughts in some regions of the world."

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Sea levels will continue to rise for centuries, warns climate scientist Prof Ed Hawkins.

Prof Carolina Vera, vice-chair of the working group that produced the document, said: "The report clearly shows that we are already living the consequences of climate change everywhere. But we will experience further and concurrent changes that increase with every additional beat of warming."

So what can be done?

While this report is more clear and confident about the downsides to warming, the scientists are more hopeful that if we can cut global emissions in half by 2030 and reach net zero by the middle of this century, we can halt and possibly reverse the rise in temperatures.


Reaching net zero involves reducing greenhouse gas emissions as much as possible using clean technology, then burying any remaining releases using carbon capture and storage, or absorbing them by planting trees.

"The thought before was that we could get increasing temperatures even after net zero," said another co-author, Prof Piers Forster from the University of Leeds, UK.

"But we now expect nature to be kind to us and if we are able to achieve net zero, we hopefully won't get any further temperature increase; and if we are able to achieve net zero greenhouse gases, we should eventually be able to reverse some of that temperature increase and get some cooling."

Five future impacts

While the future projections of warming are clearer than ever in this report, and many impacts simply cannot be avoided, the authors caution against fatalism.

"Lowering global warming really minimises the likelihood of hitting these tipping points," said Dr Otto. "We are not doomed."

A tipping point refers to when part of the Earth's climate system undergoes an abrupt change in response to continued warming.

For political leaders, the report is another in a long line of wake-up calls, but since it comes so close to November's COP26 global climate summit, it carries extra weight.

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Topics Covered:   Conservation related issues.

The second part of the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report was released recently.

What is the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6)?

The Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the sixth in a series of reports intended to assess scientific, technical, and socio-economic information concerning climate change.

The Assessment Reports, the first of which had come out in 1990, are the most comprehensive evaluations of the state of the earth’s climate.

Highlights of the report:

Impact on health:

For the first time, the IPCC report has looked at the health impacts of climate change.

India specific study:

The report identifies India as one of the vulnerable hotspots, with several regions and important cities facing very high risk of climate disasters such as flooding, sea-level rise and heat-waves. Mumbai is at high risk of sea-level rise and flooding.

Ahmedabad faces serious danger of heat-waves.

Significance of IPCC Reports:

IPCC reports form the scientific basis on which countries across the world build their policy responses to climate change.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC):

Insta Curious:

Wet-Bulb Temperatures is a measure that combines heat and humidity. A wet-bulb temperature of 31 degrees Celsius is extremely dangerous for humans, while a value of 35 degrees is unsurvivable for more than about six hours, even for fit and healthy adults.

Sources: Indian Express.

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