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  • Writer's pictureNikki Latham

IPCC Report Highlights Need For Climate Action And Adaptation

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recently released a new report, of which Professor Richards Betts MBE from the Met Office and University of Exeter was one of the lead authors. According to Betts, the Working Group II report presents an "enormous volume of evidence" to indicate that climate change is the result of human activity and has detrimental consequences around the globe. Endorsed by 195 IPCC member governments, the report emphasizes the importance of action in order to guarantee a secure future for humans and the planet. Furthermore, it notes that those with the least ability to deal with the issue are being affected most adversely.

Professor Betts said: “This report shows that climate change is already having widespread impacts, and further impacts are in the pipeline even if emissions are cut as rapidly as the most ambitious scenario suggests.

"We also conclude that many future climate-related risks are more severe than previous IPCC assessments.

"We urgently need to adapt to these changes to manage these unavoidable risks, as well as urgently stopping our carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels and deforestation in order to stop these risks from increasing further."

IPCC Chair Hoesung Lee said: "This report is a dire warning about the consequences of inaction.

"It shows that climate change is a grave and mounting threat to our wellbeing and a healthy planet. Our actions today will shape how people adapt and nature responds to increasing climate risks." A recent report from the University of Exeter that drew from research concludes that over the next twenty years, the world will face unavoidable, multiple climate catastrophes, with global warming far exceeding the 1.5°C (2.7°F) above pre-industrial levels. This above-average temperature will cause irreparable damages, with an uptick in risks for infrastructure and low-lying settlements. Moreover, droughts, heatwaves, and floods will surpass plants' and animals' resistance, causing large-scale deaths among species like trees and corals. The combined impact of these weather extremes is proving to be more difficult to tackle.

If further global warming can be restricted to minimal levels, the associated risks of death, endangerment of species, and damage to infrastructure can be substantially lessened. To achieve this, urgent and intensive adaptation to climate change is a necessity, and must be coupled with drastic cuts in emissions of greenhouse gases. This report is the second instalment (Working Group II) of its Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) which aims to assess risks arising from climate change.

The third instalment (Working Group III, published in April 2022) focusses on mitigation – the measures needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to limit further climate change.

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