The UN released a new climate report that discussed ways in which climate change will continue to change the planet. They produced six main pieces of information which need to be valued to tackle climate change. These are projected results of what could happen if society allows climate change to continue as it has been doing.
- Firstly, they established that the effects of climate change, which are bestowed upon humans, would continue to worsen and escalate. There has been a significant amount of shown impacts by climate change on society globally. There have been a large variety of adverse effects; agriculture, fisheries, infectious diseases, mental health, malnutrition, displacement, flooding, damage to infrastructure, and critical economic sectors. While there are some sectors that there have positive side effects as well, water availability and livestock health and productivity, these have also been paralleled by negative impacts as well. They also claim that the sooner humans react to climate change, the less different our lives will be.
- The report also establishes that as global warming increases, changes regionally will affect the larger nation. For example, when the world's temperature rises by 1.5 ℃, the annual hottest day in the UK will increase by 2.5℃, and the soil moisture will decrease by -0.5%. In comparison, when the world's temperature rises by 4℃, the hottest day in a year will increase by 6℃, and the average soil moisture will decrease by -1.5. This will increase the likelihood of drought, leading to more significant social issues, such as international unrest.
- The UN also states that the current future of climate change is due to affect all species and will increase depending on geographical location. If the temperature rises by 4℃, then 100% of the animals along parts of the equator are due to become extinct. To compare that to humans, if the temperature increases by 4.2-5.4℃, most of the world will experience a risk of human mortality. Countries along the equator are likely to experience every day of the year with a threat to their lives.
- They also established that with every degree the world warms, the risks are increasing. Thus, suggesting high stakesare now associated with just a few degrees of warming. If the world were to warm by 1-2℃, then the impacts of a large section of society would be impacted significantly. Land-based and coastal ecosystems will be affected highly, and adaptation will become more complex.
While this report appears dire, they have only projected findings and there are still options for reducing the rate of climate change if the necessary steps are taken quickly and drastically.
Edited by: Kyenila Taylor
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