The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warns of increasingly extreme heatwaves, droughts, flooding, and a key temperature limit being broken in just over a decade.
IPCC’s report with over 3,949 pages of analysis over 14,000 scientific papers shows that there’s no getting away from at least 1.5 degrees Celsius in the next 10 to 20 years.
Here are the key points from the report:-
- Global surface temperatures have increased by 1.09C since the 19th century, with CO2, methane and nitrous oxide levels being the highest in over 2 million years.
- The combined contribution to global warming of natural factors, such as the sun and volcanoes, is estimated to be close to zero.
- The recent rate of sea-level rise has nearly tripled since 1901-1971 and is estimated to constantly rise for hundreds or thousands of years.
- Summertime ice in the Arctic will vanish entirely by 2050 as the arctic is the fastest-warming area of the globe.
- Every region on Earth has been impacted by this human-induced climate crisis which impends a future catastrophe.
What are the future impacts?
- Temperatures will reach 1.5C above 1850-1900 levels by 2040 under all emission scenarios.
- There will be an increasing occurrence of some extreme events “unprecedented in the historical record” even at 1.5C.
- Extreme sea-level events that occurred once in a century in the recent past are projected to occur at least annually by 2100.
- For cities, heatwaves may be amplified, since urban areas are usually warmer than their surroundings.
- The Arctic is likely to be practically ice-free in September at least once before 2050 in all scenarios assessed.
What are the implications that India is going to face?
- Coastal cities will be hit marginally. Chennai, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Surat, and Vishakhapatnam will be exposed to coastal flooding.
- Heatwaves in the mainland will intensify fourfold. This will lead to warmer nights for our winter crops and a disrupted water cycle for agriculture.
- There will also be an increase in precipitation. The monsoons are going to showcase greater inter-annual variability from June to September.
- The Himalayas has undergone warming at a higher rate and will suffer a significant loss to its ice mass.
All of these changes will pose significant challenges for water supply, energy production, ecosystems integrity, agricultural and forestry production, disaster preparedness and ecotourism.