Weather. Faced with the chain of natural disasters, the particularly awaited IPCC report

Weather. Faced with the chain of natural disasters, the particularly awaited IPCC report
Weather. Faced with the chain of natural disasters, the particularly awaited IPCC report

Floods, floods, landslides, monster fires … For several weeks, natural disasters have been linked in Europe, North America and Asia. It is in this more than worrying environmental context that 195 countries began on Monday the adoption of new forecasts from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the UN experts on change. climate.

The 1.5 ° C target

The IPCC reports, the last of which dates back to 2014, are benchmarks. The next one, whose publication is scheduled for August 9, is to update the assessment of climate experts and their forecasts for the coming decades: rise in global temperature, rise in ocean levels, intensification of extreme events.

On the occasion of the signing of the Paris Agreement in 2015, almost all the countries of the planet committed to reducing CO2 emissions to limit warming “well below” by + 2 ° C compared to the pre-industrial era, if possible + 1.5 ° C. While the planet has already warmed by around 1.1 ° C and each fraction of a degree more brings its share of additional extreme events, this threshold of + 1.5 ° C has since become the priority objective. many activists and political leaders.

“The 1.5 ° C will most likely be reached between 2030 and 2040”

But is this goal realistic? This is one of the questions that should be answered by the IPCC’s assessment of thousands of the most recent scientific studies. But the first answers are clear: it looks very complicated.

If we do not reduce our emissions in the coming decade, we will not be able to do so. The 1.5 ° C will most likely be reached between 2030 and 2040, these are the best estimates we have today.

Robert Vautard, climatologist, one of the authors of the first part of the IPCC assessment

The World Meteorological Organization estimates the probability that the temperature will cross + 1.5 ° C over one year at 40% by 2025.

We must “quickly and drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions”

To hope not to cross this threshold, emissions should be reduced by 7.6% on average each year, between 2020 and 2030, according to the UN. To reverse the trend, we must “quickly and drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions, get out of coal, oil and gas, protect carbon sinks”, insists Stephen Cornelius, WWF, who hopes for improvements. guard of the IPCC “even noisier” than the previous ones.

And if the year 2020 saw a drop in the scale of emissions due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a rebound is expected. And the International Energy Agency even predicts record emissions by 2023, given the low share of stimulus packages devoted to clean energy.

The confinements over the year 2020 have resulted in a drop in emissions of 6 to 7%, if we want to achieve a reduction of 40 or 50% in 2030, we see the work that remains to be done. It’s almost one more Covid per year (…) This effort is colossal but the game is worth the candle.

Robert Vautard, climatologist, one of the authors of the first part of the IPCC assessment

Despite pessimistic forecasts, we must continue the fight, plead the experts. If we go above + 1.5 ° C, “that’s no reason to say ‘shit, we’re giving up’,” in the words of climatologist Peter Thorne, one of the report’s authors. “1.5 ° C is not a magic threshold that triggers Armageddon (…) If we get to 1.7 ° C, it is much better than to exceed 1.5 ° C, give up and go until at 2.5 ° C “, he judges.

The IPCC report, an encouragement to act?

Many hope that the report will put pressure on governments to raise their climate ambitions and implement the necessary policies. The forecasts of the UN experts are even “crucial for the success” of the COP26 climate conference, which will open in November, insisted the head of the World Weather Organization at the opening of negotiations for the adoption of this reference text.

We face destruction and suffering every day (…). The past six weeks alone have brought us a series of devastating events, heat, floods, fires, drought and more. For years, we had warned that it was possible, that all of this was going to happen.

Patricia Espinosa, UN climate chief

In recent weeks, the images of the floods in Germany, the fires in the United States, the heat waves in Canada and the deluge in China have shocked the spirits.

Despite everything, some fear that this renewed interest in the climate issue will only be temporary, while actions crucial for the future of humanity are demanded from the leaders of the planet. Starts with activist Greta Thunberg, who has led millions of young people into the streets in recent years to demand that governments drastically and immediately reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“Right now everyone is talking about the climate emergency, and rightly so. But as soon as these tragedies are over, we will probably forget again and continue as before,” lamented the activist on Twitter.

In June, the preliminary version of a part of the IPCC report to which the media were able to access estimated that some 420 million more people on Earth will face “extreme heat waves” if global warming reaches + 2 ° C instead. than + 1.5 ° C. “The worst is yet to come, it will affect the lives of our children and our grandchildren much more than ours,” insisted the experts.


Weather Faced chain natural disasters awaited IPCC report

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