Ithaca, NY – Today, the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released the first part of a comprehensive report assessing scientific knowledge on climate change. The IPCC describes the report as a “code red for Humanity.” According to the report, “climate change is already affecting every region of the Earth, in multiple ways.” (Source)
Excerpt from the IPCC’s Press release:
“The report projects that in the coming decades climate changes will increase in all regions. For 1.5°C of global warming, there will be increasing heat waves, longer warm seasons and shorter cold seasons. At 2°C of global warming, heat extremes would more often reach critical tolerance thresholds for agriculture and health, the report shows.
But it is not just about temperature. Climate change is altering global temperature, water, and air patterns that have been stable for thousands of years. These include changes to wetness and dryness, to winds, snow and ice, coastal areas and oceans.”
According to the report, climate change is:
- exacerbating water cycling extremes bringing more intense rainfall and flooding in some regions of the world and intense drought in others.
- affecting rainfall patterns with increasing precipitation in high latitudes and rapidly decreasing precipitation over large parts of the subtropics. Monsoon precipitation is expected to become more extreme and erratic.
- increasing sea level rise, which will continue throughout the 21st century, contributing to more frequent and severe coastal flooding in low-lying areas and coastal erosion. Extreme sea level events that previously occurred once in 100 years could happen every year by the end of this century.
- amplifying permafrost thawing, and the loss of seasonal snow cover, melting of glaciers and ice sheets, and loss of summer Arctic sea ice. These frozen waters and lands hold massive amounts of ancient methane and carbon dioxide. As they melt the greenhouse gas (GHG) release is exponentially increasing GHG emissions into the atmosphere.
- causing massive ocean ecosystem changes, including warming, more frequent marine heatwaves, ocean acidification, and reduced oxygen levels, all clearly linked to human influence. These changes affect both ocean ecosystems and the people that rely on them, and they will continue throughout at least the rest of this century.
- Amplifying some aspects of climate change for cities, including heat (since urban areas are usually warmer than their surroundings), flooding from heavy precipitation events, and sea level rise in coastal cities.
“Today’s IPCC report is an emergency wake-up call for everyone who calls planet Earth home,” said Assembly Member Anna Kelles (D-125). “We must take immediate action to end our reliance on fossil fuels and reduce our consumption. This summer we all witnessed extreme wildfires, floods, and heat waves across the globe. We are out of time. The Climate Crisis is here and we must act swiftly and courageously to save our children from suffering a lifetime in the midst of a cataclysmic climate emergency.”
“The basis of how we measure progress needs to be addressed if we are going to change course fast enough to prevent the worst suffering,” continued Kelles. “The very foundation of our economy is based on, and requires, continued consumerism. Not only do we need to rapidly reverse our upward trending energy consumption and Greenhouse gas emissions, but we need to revise our concept of prosperity from consumerism to preservation if we are going to make the type of pivotal change that will be necessary for humanity to survive.”