After the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report was released this week, multiple startling and frightening facts were presented, specifically pinpointing earth’s current path to imminent doom; a path, which the IPCC report undeniably shows, draws closer. The IPCC report states that present-day global concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) are at higher levels than at in any time in the past two million years, stating that over the past several decades, key indicators of the climate system are increasingly at levels unseen in centuries to millennia and are changing at rates unprecedented in at least the last 2000 years.The report, which has been assessed by 234 scientists from 66 countries, expressed that in the last decade, global mean surface temperature (GMST) was more likely not higher than for any multi-century average during the Holocene, the time since the end of the last major glacial epoch, or Ice Age which was roughly 125,000 years ago.
The report further notes that changes in Effective Radiative Forcing (ERF) since the late 19th century are dominated by increases in concentrations of greenhouse gases and trends in aerosols. ERF measures the energy imbalance caused by anthropogenic activities such as emissions of CO2, other greenhouse gases or aerosols and/or natural events, such as volcanic eruptions. The report also made it clear that the solar activity since 1900 was high but not exceptional compared to the past 9000 years.
The IPCC observed changes in the atmosphere (the layers of gases surrounding a planet), oceans, cryosphere (the places on Earth that have frozen water due to its frigid temperature) and biosphere (the parts of Earth where life exists), provide unequivocal evidence of a world that has warmed and worryingly so.
Simple examples of this are the fires in Siberia, Russia that are so massive, they have been viewed from space and have been labeled by scientist as “Record breaking” and ultimately linked to the effects of Global warming.
A further alarming find within the report was the fact that between 1979 and 2019, Arctic sea ice area has decreased in both summer and winter, with sea ice becoming younger, thinner and more dynamic. This therefore attributes to the rising sea level and causes great flooding concerns; something, which our country is no stranger to its impacts.
Should the world continue down this path, the evident effects of the global warming can cause cataclysmic results, if we haven’t already seen them. The Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS) lost mass between 1992 and 2020, with an increasing rate of mass loss over this period.