The first product of the 6th (AR6) Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)  cycle, the Special Report on 1.5°C (SR1.5) above pre-industrial levels, has been approved by the Governments last week and was published on Monday morning. Yes, that means however much your government allows its members and other sources to deny climate change and its human causes, all the UN member governments (so basically all the countries of the world, aside from those not internationally recognised by all, like Palestine and Kosovo) agree with the statements made in this document. Time to hold them to doing something with this accepted knowledge.

Its an epic achievement to have made this happen in such a tight schedule and I commend all those involved for their intense and hard work on the publication. They fulfilled the governments’ request to show the present state (~1°C above pre-industrial temperature), the impacts within a 1.5°C warmer world and what difference this makes to the 2.0°C warmer world. They had to produce all socio-economic, emission and climate change scenarios from scratch, had to add more details of the latest scientific system understanding in order that the uncertainty ranges of the projections could be reduced sufficiently that the differences between these scenarios can be quantified.

They show that risks for society related to climate change can be reduced by minimising human induced climate change. They also show pathways for staying at 1.5°C above pre-industrial temperatures. Their expert opinion is that there is still a way, though the time window within which we need to achieve it is very small; only about 10 years from now. Global emissions would have to be reduced by half as soon as 2030, and brought down close to zero by 2050.

My colleague Prof Georg Kaser, who has been involved with the IPCC for many years now believes this to be the most important IPCC product ever published. Please have a read of the report, look at the headline statements and then consider sharing it, and its findings, widely.

About lindsey

Environmental scientist. I am glaciologist specialising in glacier-climate interactions to better understand the climate system. The point of this is to understand how glaciated envionments might change in the future - how the glaciers will respond and what the impact on associated water resources and hazard potential will be.
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