IPCC 2021 report: what you need to know about the UN climate report – and what its results mean for the UK and Europe
The United Nations body responsible for researching and studying climate change has released its latest findings as the effects of global warming, heat waves and floods continue to be observed around the world.
In light of forest fires currently raging in Turkey, Greece and California, and European countries such as Germany and Belgium recently hit by unprecedented inland flooding, the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report on the Physico-Scientific Basis of Climate Change was named “Code Red for the Mankind ”- with temperatures and sea levels rising since the 1970s.
Here’s what you need to know.
What does the IPCC report say?
According to the authors of the UN Working Group 1 report, the IPCC’s 2018 forecast has been confirmed that global temperatures would rise by 1.5 ° C – with global temperatures rising by 1.5 ° C by 2040.
This sizeable rise in global temperatures could come even sooner if emissions are not cut, scientists warn.
The report also found that land surface temperatures had increased in recent years – with global land surface temperatures being more than 1 ° C higher between 2011 and 2021 than between 1850 and 1900.
This is because the report also notes that human impact has increased since the 1970s as a factor causing global warming and climate change, assuming that human activity is behind sea level rise as a result of glacier melt and sea ice loss to stand.
Arctic sea ice is currently believed to have reached its lowest level in more than 1,000 years.
IPCC scientists also concluded that the intensification of global temperatures and water cycles will lead to further seismic changes in the climate system, with more heat waves, sea heat waves, precipitation, droughts and tropical cyclones being expected worldwide.
How will the UK and Europe be affected by climate change?
The IPCC has outlined several consequences of rising temperatures and rising sea levels for Europe, with scientists having “high confidence” that the region will experience more frequent and intense heat waves, fewer cold spells and frosts in winter, and increasing coastal flooding as a result of the withdrawal of Europeans from coastlines.
In addition to more extreme sea level events and relative sea level rises affecting all of Europe with the exception of the Baltic Sea, northern Europe, Great Britain, Ireland and Scandinavia are likely to experience higher levels of precipitation.
IPCC scientists assume with “medium confidence” that in northern European countries such as Great Britain more surface water and flash floods as a result of extreme rainfall (cope flooding) could be observed.
If global warming increases by 2 ° C, an increase in severe storms could also be observed in Europe.
Why was the report called the “Code Red for Humanity”?
In a statement released on Monday, UN Secretary-General António Guterres called the IPCC’s climate science report “the red code for humanity” and stated that without immediate and tough action against CO2 emissions, pollution and deforestation, the planet will be plunged into further dangers.
“The alarm bells are deafening and the evidence is irrefutable: greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel burning and deforestation are suffocating our planet and putting billions of people in imminent danger,” said Guterres.
“Global warming is affecting every region of the world, with many of the changes becoming irreversible.
“The internationally agreed threshold of 1.5 degrees Celsius is dangerously close.”
The Secretary General added that the results of the IPCC report highlight the importance of the upcoming international climate conference to be held in Glasgow, with preparations for COP26 in November in full swing.
“We are already at 1.2 degrees and rising,” said Guterres.
“The greenhouse gas concentrations are at record levels.
“Extreme weather and climate disasters are increasing in frequency and intensity.
“That is why this year’s United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow is so important.”