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Climate change widespread, rapid, and intensifying – IPCC

Otautahi – Scientists are observing changes in the Earth’s climate in every part of the world region across the whole climate system, according to the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, released today.

Many of the changes observed in the climate are unprecedented in thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of years, and some of the changes already set in motion such as continued sea level rise are irreversible over hundreds to thousands of years. The far-reaching report is the first released from the IPCC in eight years.

The evidence is “indisputable” that human activity is causing climate change, that it is happening to a greater extent and at a faster pace than earlier research findings indicated.

Humanity must reduce emissions of greenhouse gasses by a lot and from now and must prepare for the impact of climate change caused by past, present and future emissions.

The temperatures are rising from a higher level and faster than the previous report. The oceans are becoming more acidic faster than previously estimated.

Tolerance for denial and scepticism will likely decline as predicted extreme weather events affect all parts of our planet with growing severity and frequency.

New Zealand’s Climate Change Commission’s advice on budgets and ways to reduce emissions is entirely consistent with the evidence and the need for action that is sustained over years to come.

Meanwhile, the world strong and sustained reductions in emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases would limit climate change.

While benefits for air quality would come quickly, it could take 20-30 years to see global temperatures stabilise, according to the IPCC Working Group I report, Climate Change 2021: the Physical Science Basis.

The report provides new estimates of the chances of crossing the global warming level of 1.5°C in the next decades, and finds that unless there are immediate, rapid and large scale reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, limiting warming to close to 1.5°C or even 2°C will be beyond reach.

Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are responsible for approximately 1.1°C of warming since 1850-1900 and finds that averaged over the next 20 years, global temperature is expected to reach or exceed 1.5°C of warming.

For further information contact Make Lemonade NZ editor-in-chief Kip Brook 0275 030188

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