IPCC 2021 Report: "Code Red". Climate change and irreversible consequences

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IPCC 2021 Report:

IPCC 2021 Report: "Code Red". Climate change and irreversible consequences


Self-consumption Climate change 再生能源 4


Rising global temperatures, rising oceans and extreme weather: the future of our species is in danger.

In recent days, the UN has published its latest report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, also known as the IPCC, which highlights the need for change now to avoid the destruction of ecosystems and, ultimately, of human beings themselves. In today's article we will learn about the conclusions of the report, in which 234 experts from 60 different countries participated, and how the consequences of climate change will affect us in the future.

The human effect and the consequences of climate change

The UN study makes one thing very clear: climate change is caused by human action, thus leaving aside some assumptions and denialist ideas that circulate on the internet, led by the former US president, Donald Trump, who during his term of office paid little attention to the environmental policies required by international organisations.

Since the start of the Industrial Revolution in the 18th century, global temperatures have risen by 1.1°C and 2.4 billion tonnes of CO2 have been emitted.

The key insight that can be drawn is that climate change is intensifying over time and that current policies around the world are not sufficient to stem a wave that is spreading rapidly across the globe, as no region of the planet is immune to changes in its climate and ecosystem.

This means that the effects of climate change will not wait to appear in a few years, but we can already see obvious examples of this phenomenon around the world today, from longer than usual droughts to the melting of the Antarctic ice sheet.

Without the human effect, temperature variation would be anecdotal, but current forecasts predict an extra 1.5°C by the end of the decade and a threshold rise by 2040.

Global temperature increase

In 2013, a limit of 1.5°C was set for the Earth's temperature to rise in order for life on Earth to remain safe. However, in 2015 the issue was contested in the Paris Agreement and many developing countries opposed such a high temperature, although to avoid this warming it is necessary to halve CO2 emissions into the atmosphere and reduce the hole in the ozone layer.

Different data can be consulted thanks to the interactive atlas created by the IPCC where a review of the issue by region can be made.

At the current rate of global warming, however, this 1.5°C limit will be exceeded by 2050 and the effects will be noticeable, such as an increase in the number and intensity of precipitation and associated flooding in some parts of the world, while severe droughts will occur in others. In order to keep the figure down to 1.5ºC, we would have to remove CO2 from the atmosphere with technology or thanks to forests, thereby maintaining the temperature and mitigating the effects of global warming.

At present we have several heat waves, such as the one that is currently affecting Spain, although those of the future will be much more intense. These increases in temperature will provoke strong storms that will make extreme situations, such as the major floods recently experienced in central Europe and China, much more common.

Finally, it is noted that the situation in the Arctic is more complex because warming will occur twice as fast as in the rest of the planet and will cause the permafrost to thaw, as well as eliminating seasonal snow and iron and causing sea levels to rise.

Sea level rise

This is one of the most sensitive issues, as there is no turning back and ocean levels will inevitably be higher than they are today by the end of the century. The worst forecasts predict a sea level rise of 2 metres by 2100 and 5 metres by 2150 under current scenarios.

The magnitude of the figures is best understood when compared with data from years ago. Growth began to be observed in the second half of the 20th century and in the best-case scenario we are looking at a rise of half a metre, even if we respect the Paris Agreement and the recommendations of experts as of today. The worst-case scenario, among the most likely, is a rise of around 1 metre.

If Antarctica were to melt, the sea would rise by 5 metres and cities such as New YorkLondon, Hong Kong, Sydney, Mumbai and others would be at risk. More than 800 million people would be affected. Thus, it is calculated that if today 1 serious flood event occurs every 100 years, in the future the probability of suffering undesirable situations due to floods will be much common than today.

In Spain, sea level rise will affect 75% of the population, as most people live near the coast.

This will lead to more flooding, especially in the coastal areas of the planet, as well as an increase in the size of waves and an increase in the temperature and acidity of the water, with the destructive effect this will have on the marine ecosystem and, ultimately, on the people who make their living from the sea.

Sea level has risen more since 1900 than in the last 3000 years, water temperature has risen faster in the last century than in the previous 11000 years (dating from the last deglaciation) and the pH in the open ocean in recent decades is lower than in the previous 2 million years.

Sustaniable future

UN Secretary-General António Guterres summarised the report as a "code red", a warning from humanity to humanity to accelerate the ecological transition and change the way we live, mainly in the developed Western world.

For this reason, the EU has set itself the goal of following the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, a series of objectives among which the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to 40% and ensuring 32% of renewable energy production stand out, with the ultimate goal of meeting the objectives set out in the Paris Agreement.

This is where Lumisa comes in. Betting on our small energy supplier means taking a step towards achieving a greener and more sustainable future, by committing to self-consumption. We encourage you to consult the simulator on our website to find out what budget you would need to install the self-consumption kit in your home and to see which tariff would best suit your needs.

In any case, it is clear that the pace of life we lead must change and we must place nature, together with human beings, at the centre of the issue. Only in this way can we succeed in slowing down climate change, although as we have seen in this article, certain effects are already being felt and others are inevitable.

Wake up humanity.

Sources:

  • Retema
  • BBC
  • IPCC
  • La Vanguardia
  • ONU
  • EU

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