If only we knew! WE DID!

Published October 4, 2022 by Nan Mykel

What is the current state of climate change 2022?

Some of this may seem old to you; it is!

The 2018–2022 global mean temperature average (based on data up to May or June 2022) is estimated to be 1.17 ± 0.13 °C above the 1850–1900 average. A La Niña event has had a slight cooling effect on temperatures in 2021/22 but this will be temporary.5 days ago

United in Science: We are Heading in the Wrong Direction – UNFCCC

https://unfccc.int › news › united-in-science-we-are-headi…

: What is the current state of climate change 2022?

What did the 2022 IPCC report say?

The IPCC report 2022 warned that the world is set to reach the 1.5ºC level within the next two decades and said that only the most drastic cuts in carbon emissions from now would help prevent an environmental disaster.Jul 4, 2022

IPCC climate report 2022 summary: The key findings

The IPCC report 2022 warned that the world is set to reach the 1.5ºC level within the next two decades and said that only the most drastic cuts in carbon emissions from now would help prevent an environmental disaster.Jul 4, 2022

taking drastic action now and what would happen if no action was taken. Taking the high-carbon pathway, the worst of the scenarios, would see global temperatures rise by more than 4ºC by the end of the century. To add some perspective to that scenario, the world has not seen temperature increases of more than 2.5ºC over such a short space of time for more than 3 million years.

The latest IPCC climate reportThe third volume of the 6th IPCC assessment report that was launched on April 2022, is the result of a collaboration of 270 scientists from more than 60 different countries. This volume is only part of the sixth assessment report. The full version will be published in September 2022.

Humans are the main drivers of climate change

The last time the IPCC published its climate update, there was a link between human activity and climate change. This time, the group concludes they have high confidence that humans are the main drivers behind issues such as more intense heat waves, glaciers melting, and our oceans getting warmer. Studies have shown that events such as the heat wave in Siberia in 2020 and the extreme heat seen across Asia in 2016 would likely not have happened had humans not burned so much fossil fuel.

Indeed the IPCC report 2022 says: “It is unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, ocean and land”. That should be a stark enough warning to all of us to make the changes we need to in our lives and start recycling, and thinking about using green energy to power our homes, such as solar energy or wind energy.

Upon release of the report, politicians and commentators gave their reaction, none more powerfully than by UN Secretary General, António Guterres, who said:

IPCC Working Group 1 Report is a code red for humanityThe alarm bells are deafening, and the evidence is irrefutable: greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel burning and deforestation are choking our planet and putting billions of people at immediate risk.   From <https://climate.selectra.com/en/news/ipcc-report-2022>

For the first time ever, the IPCC dedicated a chapter in its report to short-lived climate forces including aerosols, methane, and particulate matter. The previous edition of the IPCC report outlined safe levels of methane, of which we have well surpassed at this point. In fact, methane levels, which are largely caused by agricultural farming, oil and gas operations, and abandoned coal mines, are at their highest for 800,000 years.

While much of the discussion of emission reductions focuses on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions – by switching to an electric or hybrid car, for example – methane actually has a global warming impact 84 times higher over a 20-year period. The IPCC report 2022 said more focus must be placed on methane emissions, which would help reverse climate change and improve air quality around the world.

We are close to reaching irreversible tipping points

Drastic cuts in emissions are needed to stop climate change – something we already know and that governments and businesses around the world are already working towards. However, the report warned that if not enough is done, the world is close to reaching tipping points on climate change, meaning that we will have gone beyond the point where the damage can be repaired.

The IPCC report 2022 highlighted two key examples of what could happen:

deforestation

  1. Forests could start to die: As temperatures continue to rise, forests could begin to die off. Trees play a key role in absorbing CO2, so if deforestation occurs, and forests stop growing, it would have disastrous consequences on the environment;
  2. Sea levels will continue to rise: As global warming occurs, ice caps melt at a rapid pace, meaning sea levels rise, and towns and cities around coastal areas are in danger of being swallowed up by the oceans. Research published in the Nature Journal suggests that if nothing is done, sea levels could rise by more than a metre by 2100 and by 15 metres over the next 500 years.

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