Earlier this month, after systematic and thorough review, we got the latest update from The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The authority on the climate crisis. It is a part of the United Nations and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). Their job, with the work of hundreds of scientists, 195 countries across the world, is to first assess the latest climate science. Second, to provide information for decision makers and policy makers.
This latest information is from the panel that looks how the climate is changing. The physical science behind it. You can read more here: IPCC sixth assessment on climate change. This will be the first of three teams of scientists to present their work. Or known as Working Group I, II and III. There will be two more panels of work on this to go. The complete sixth assessment should be done sometime in 2022. Below we will dive in to some of the key points. Audit where we are now. Dissect the information. Then go from there on a complex topic.
Where We Are – “A Reality Check,” – IPCC
According to the report, the planet is now 1.09 °C warmer primarily due to human activity
The number we want to stay below
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change gave a range of emission paths with a goal to average warming to 1.5°C by 2100. However, all would require an urgent reduction in global greenhouse gas emissions.
- Each of the past four decades has been warmer than the last
- This is no doubt because of human made greenhouse gas emissions.
2,400 billion tonnes
Amount of CO2 humanity emitted into the atmosphere since 1850.
- Human influence continues to warm the big three: atmosphere, ocean, and land.
- The past five years have been the hottest on record since 1850.
- Human influence is “very likely” (90%) the main driver of the global retreat of glaciers since the 1990s.
- Climate change is already affecting many weather and climate extremes in every region across the globe.
- Evidence of observed changes in extremes such as: heatwaves, heavy precipitation events, droughts, and tropical cyclones.
- Heat waves have become more frequent and more intense since the 1950s.
- Cold events have become less frequent and less severe.
- Drought is increasing in more than 90% of regions.
- Sea levels are rising fast and accelerating. The rate of sea-level rise (SLR) has nearly tripled compared with 1901-1971.
- Ocean acidification continues to increase.
- The science and understanding on all of this has improved since the fifth assessment. This means scientists better understand the cycles of the atmosphere, oceans, and land. They conclude with more confidence that greenhouse gas emissions, and global warming, have led to symptoms of the climate crisis.
- Do not assume every weather event is related to climate change.
Generally things do not look good. However, it is not all bad from The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. But changes need to be made soon or now. Some of this warming we have seen in the last century appears to be here to stay, no matter what we do. Even if carbon dioxide emissions get to net zero by 2050, and made cuts to other greenhouse gas emissions like methane, temperatures will keep rising up to 1.5 °C warmer for the next half century before potentially dropping.
It is too late for some of the warming. But giving up is an unwise option.
A Sea Level Rise (SLR) of two meters is possible by 2100
- A five meter rise by 2150, threatening millions in coastal and island areas is also possible.
- Extreme sea-level events that occurred once a century are projected to occur at least annually.
- ‘Fire weather’ is likely in many countries.
- Climate change will more likely impact the poor and vulnerable more severely initially. However, no one is safe from the effects of climate change.
- The global water cycle will continue to intensify. Global monsoon precipitation and the severity of wet and dry events will continue.
- Ice sheet collapse, abrupt ocean circulation change remain a low-likelihood outcome.
There is an upside. What our climate future will look like depends on how we use this information from the The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. There are already signs of what we are doing is actually helping. Major international efforts show positive results.
What Needs To Happen
1.5 °C will be reached by 2040 in all scenarios unless emissions are slashed in the next few years.
- Keeping to 1.5 °C will require immediate, rapid and large-scale reductions in emissions and slower action leads to 2.0 C and more suffering for all life on Earth.
- The planet has spent 86% of its carbon budget. We can only leak another 400 billion tonnes to have a 66% chance of keeping to 1.5 C.
- From a physical science perspective, limiting human-induced global warming to a specific level requires limiting cumulative CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) emissions, reaching at least net zero CO2 emissions, along with strong reductions in other greenhouse gas emissions.
- Strong, rapid and sustained reductions in CH4 (methane) emissions would also limit the warming effect. Improvements in aerosol pollution would improve air quality.
- We will also need to take carbon out of the atmosphere with things like carbon capturing.
- Solutions proposed by the scientists include using clean technology, carbon capture and storage, or planting trees.
Limiting climate change on a local to regional to global scale is possible. But it appears generally that time is limited. Large scale efforts and resources may be a better return on investment than what you can do individually. But you can still do something. You can calculate your climate impact here. It may also be in your best interest to get your information on this topic from unbiased and factual news sources. And do your best to avoid information from sources and people prone to hyperbole, self interests, and simplifications.
It is also important to invest in weather preparation. We can help you with that.
Who is Praedictix?
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Weather Videos: With two HD studios, we’re able to create professional weather forecast videos for use in television, social media, apps, and websites. Our forecasts are tailored to our clients’ brand. Our content ranges from national to hyperlocal forecasts and air all over the country.
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Weather Consulting: We lend our weather expertise to our clients to help with risk mitigation and business optimization by way of conference calls, emails, and briefings. We also have a forensic meteorology team that specializes in forensic weather analysis and expert testimony.
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Lead Broadcast Meteorologist
Joe has been with Praedictix since 2016. He graduated with a bachelor’s in meteorology with a minor in mathematics from the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks. He also interned at Studio One in UND while earning awards as a student broadcaster and teaching assistant along the way. During summers off from college, Joe was the weather intern for the KSTP weather team based in the Twin Cities. Joe then worked as the morning meteorologist for 2 years at KCWY in Casper, Wyoming; then 4 years as the morning meteorologist at WSJV in South Bend-Elkhart, IN. There, Joe became a Certified Broadcast Meteorologist (CBM) through the American Meteorological Society and still owns the earned seal.