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Thursday, March 30, 2023

Global warming: Boris Johnson hopes new IPCC report to serve as wake-up call

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British leader Boris Johnson has expressed hope that a new IPCC report will be a wake-up call for the world to take action now as far as global warming is concerned.

We were told to use our air-conditioners only when it’s too hot and shut down monitors when we were not using our computers. However, no one paid heed and now it’s too late. Global warming has come with a vengeance, with the average temperature on Earth reaching 1.5 degrees Celsius over preindustrial levels around 2030. According to a historic UN report released on Monday, this is ten years earlier than was predicted only three years ago.

The bombshell from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) arrived 90 days before a crucial climate summit anxious to preserve 1.5 degrees Celsius in play.

Years in the making, the sobering report authorised by 195 nations puts a harsh focus on governments hesitating in the face of overwhelming evidence that climate change is a threat to humanity’s existence.

However, the report says the threshold will be violatedaround 2050, the level of our aggressiveness  in drawing down carbon pollution does not matter.

Boris Johnson said, “I hope today’s IPCC report will be a wake-up call for the world to take action now.” 

With just 1.1 degrees Celsius of warming so far, an unbroken cascade of fatal, unprecedented weather disasters has swept the world this summer, from asphalt-melting heatwaves in Canada to rainstorms turning city streets in China and Germany into rivers, to raging wildfires sweeping Greece and California.

Valerie Masson-Delmotte jointly led an examination of hundreds of published climate research papers with hundreds of other academics.

Masson-Delmotte said, “This report is a reality check. It has been clear for decades that the Earth’s climate is changing, and the role of human influence on the climate system is undisputed.”

Indeed, the IPCC found for the first time in its three-decade existence that all but a minuscule percentage of the warming has been “unequivocally caused by human activities.”

The globe must ready itself for worse – maybe much worse – to come, according to the research.

Amanda Maycock, who is director of the Institute for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Leeds, is a lead author. 

Maycock said, “It is important politically, but it is not a cliff edge where everything will suddenly become very catastrophic.” 

Another lead author, Ed Hawkins, a professor of climate science at the University of Reading, said that “every bit of warming matters.”

Hawkins noted, “The consequences get worse and worse as we get warmer and warmer. Every tonne of CO2 matters.”

Saleemul Huq, director of the International Centre for Climate Change and Development in Dhaka, said, “The new IPCC report is not a drill but the final warning that the bubble of empty promises is about to burst. It’s suicidal, and economically irrational to keep procrastinating.” 

Part 2 of the IPCC assessment, on impacts, is set to be released in February.

Part 3 will be released in March and will focus on measures to minimise carbon emissions in the atmosphere.

The attention will now move to the political arena, where a nonstop series of ministerial and summit meetings, including a vital G20 meeting in October, will lead up to the COP26 UN climate conference in Glasgow, which Britain will host.

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