A tipping point

The new Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report stands as a verdict on the climate crimes of humanity. After ignored warnings of scientists over past decades now “it is unequivocal” – These the first words in the document – Humanity through its actions has overheated the planet, nowhere on Earth is escaping rising temperatures, floods, wildfires or droughts.

The report is the sixth by the IPCC since 1988 but the first to assess the risk of a tipping point thoroughly. A key aspect is that the summary is agreed, line by line, by every government on the planet, with the scientists vetoing any politically convenient but unscientific proposal. As a result, for those governments and businesses that still chose inaction, the report may well end up being used as key evidence in a courtroom.

Earth’s climate under human influence

Human activity is changing the Earth’s climate in ways unprecedented in thousands or hundreds of thousands of years, with some of the changes now inevitable and irreversible in every region across the globe.
Some examples? Here they go, directly from the IPCC report.

  • First, human influence is warmed the climate at a rate never seen in at least the last 2000 years. Each of the last four decades has been warmer than any decade that preceded it since 1850. In the next two decades we will definitely reach 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, whatever happens to emissions. Keeping to that 1.5C is not yet impossible, but it will require immediate, rapid and large-scale reductions in emissions of which there is no sign to date.
  • Second, humans are the main driver of the global retreat of glaciers since the 1990s
  • Third, in 2019 atmospheric CO2 concentrations were higher than at any time in at least 2 million years.
  • Fourth, these CO2 emissions are the main driver of current ocean acidification. 
  • Fifth, since 1970 climate zones have shifted poleward in both hemispheres.
  • Sixth, mean sea level has risen faster since 1900 than over any preceding century in at least the last 3000 years.
  • Seventh, oceans have warmed faster over the past century than since the end of the last deglacial transition, around 11,000 years ago.
  • Eighth, hot extremes have become more frequent and more intense across most regions since the 1950s.
  • Ninth, the frequency and intensity of heavy precipitations have increased since the 1950s over most land area. 
  • Tenth, the chance of extreme events like droughts, fire weather and flooding has increased since the 1950s.

We the humans, the cause and the solution

As it’s been said and written several times these days, it is unequivocally certain that we’re causing the collapse of entire ecosystems and of our home, the Earth. We must all take responsibility for our actions, as individuals and as a global society. We must adapt our lifestyles to the crisis of our time, the climate crisis, and demand that governments and companies really take immediate, definitive and large-scale actions. We are all part of the problem, and therefore we are all part of the solution.

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