Yesterday’s landmark climate report gave a clearer picture of what has happened, where we are headed, and how the effects of global warming will vary from region to region.
This is the first time that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report contains specific regional information and digital atlases, allowing users to learn more about local data.
Valérie Masson-Delmotte, the co-chair of the first working group that prepared the report, said: “Climate change has affected every region of our planet. Ways increasingly affect every region.”
One third of the report is dedicated to regional climate information. Most of these focus on factors that will have a direct impact on society or ecosystems, such as extreme heat or drought conditions. Scientists say this information provides some additional realities for decision makers and allows for more practical applications.
Claudia Tebaldi, a geoscientist in the Pacific Northwest, said: “Policy makers will get a lot of information that they may not have before this report is published, and they can more directly assess their own country’s and region’s Situation.” National Laboratory and author of the final chapter on regional impacts.
This chapter aims to better link this report with the report on adaptation and vulnerability to be launched by IPCC Working Group II next year.
Tebaldi said that by taking a more fine-grained approach, a clearer picture will emerge.
“The IPCC tries to provide decision makers with the best possible information,” she added. “By being so detailed and confident about what has happened due to climate change, the message conveyed is as compelling as possible.”
Masson-Delmotte said the authors carefully explained the science in the clearest way, hoping that it can be used to improve public understanding of climate change so that policymakers can formulate countermeasures.
After the report was released, many global leaders issued statements. The U.S. climate envoy John Kerry vaguely but repeatedly called for action. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will host an important global climate conference in just a few months, and his attitude is more straightforward.
“We know what measures must be taken to limit global warming-make coal history, switch to clean energy, protect nature, and provide climate funding to front-line countries,” he said.
Most other leaders remained silent, including leaders from China and India, the world’s largest and third-largest emitters of greenhouse gases. Neither submitted a new goal outlining how they plan to improve their climate goals, and many advocates and green groups called on them to achieve their goals.
At the same time, some small island nations such as the Marshall Islands and Costa Rica, as well as smaller developing countries such as Ethiopia, have stepped up their efforts to adopt net-zero carbon targets and ambitious carbon reduction commitments.
Helen Mountford, vice president of climate and economics at the World Resources Institute, said: “Even though they are the people who are struggling the most in actually dealing with the effects of climate change.” “They came forward because they knew they had no choice.”
Mohamed Nasheed, the former President of the Maldives and the ambassador of the 48-member Climate Vulnerability Forum, also expressed this view. In tweet yesterday.
“This report is devastating news for countries with the most vulnerable climates, such as the Maldives,” he wrote. “It confirms that we are on the brink of extinction. The climate emergency is intensifying and we are on the front lines. Our country has been hit by extreme weather.”
The report includes 11 regional fact sheets about Africa, Europe, North America and Central America. It also includes polar regions, mountains, oceans and cities.
The fact sheet predicts average global warming temperatures of 1.5 degrees Celsius, 2 degrees Celsius, and 4 degrees Celsius, and the observed effects indicate that these changes have become a reality.
The following is a fact sheet on the impact of the five regions:
High temperatures will sweep the region in the future, and more severe extreme high temperatures are already obvious. Even if the amount of precipitation increases, the fire season will be longer and more intense-this is the so-called weather whiplash. In the coming decades, as runoff accelerates, glaciers will decrease. At the same time, sea levels are rising faster than the global average, leading to increased coastal land loss and erosion.
In North Asia, by 2050, increased precipitation will flood the main Siberian rivers. There will be more monsoon rains in South Asia, and the combined effects of climate change, land subsidence and human activities will trigger floods and inundate the Mekong Delta. Severe tropical cyclones that have become more severe in East Asia may migrate to the poles.
The majestic Himalayas, the Swiss Alps and the central Andes are already warming. Since the 1990s, glacier retreat has been observed to grow faster there in almost all mountain ranges. Even if the temperature stops rising, the glacier will continue to melt for at least a few decades. This may lead to runoff from larger glaciers.
These and other changes will damage water supply, hydropower production, agriculture and forestry, and ecotourism. In the Caucasus, the wear of permafrost makes the slopes less stable. More heat and precipitation may increase landslides and floods caused by the bursting of dams blocking glacial lakes in Asian mountains. In the Rocky Mountains, these lakes may grow as glaciers melt.
The warming in most parts of the region exceeds the global average, and warming and extreme high temperatures are expected to continue to rise. In most areas outside of Alaska and Hudson Bay, sea levels will also rise, where the coastline rises above the water. Tropical cyclones and severe storms may become more extreme. Central and western North America have witnessed more deadly wildfires, and will see more fires and droughts, and more extreme precipitation and flooding. The Caribbean and most parts of Central America will also experience persistent droughts, but scientists expect rainfall to fall.
The Greenland and Antarctica ice sheets have been losing mass since the 1990s, which is the highest loss rate in the past decade. Since 1979, extreme high temperature events in the Arctic have increased, and future warming that is expected to thaw the Arctic permafrost may release more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The current Arctic sea ice coverage is at its lowest level since the mid-1800s. Before 2050, regardless of the level of warming, the Arctic is expected to hardly freeze at least once in the summer.
For all future emission scenarios, the temperature in island countries will continue to rise, increasing extreme heat and heat stress. At the same time, the oceans surrounding these small countries will continue to warm, causing sea levels to rise further.
Rising sea levels, combined with storm surges and powerful waves, will flood the coast and may bring salt water into the aquifers that many communities rely on for water supply. With the exception of the central and northern Pacific, small islands may face fewer but more intense tropical cyclones. Even in the lowest emission scenario, sea levels will rise by an average of half a meter by the end of this century.
forward from Electronics News With permission from POLITICO, LLC. Copyright 2021. E&E News provides important news for energy and environmental professionals.