The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has released a dire report on climate change.
António Guterres, U.N. Secretary-General, described the report as “a code red for humanity.” Guterres added that man-made climate change is putting billions of lives at risk.
The report outlines some changes are underway that are “irreversible” such as sea-level rise.
Over the next 20 years, the global temperature is expected to reach or exceed 1.5°C of warming.
For 1.5°C of global warming, there will be increasing heat waves, longer warm seasons and shorter cold seasons. At 2°C of global warming, heat extremes would more often reach critical tolerance thresholds for agriculture and health, the report shows.
The report outlines rare weather events may become more frequent such as flooding.
There is a way forward, however. Strong and sustained reductions in emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases would limit climate change. Benefits for air quality would come quickly but it could take 20-30 years to see global temperatures stabilize.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is the United Nations body for assessing the science related to climate change.