IPCC Report - It's Too Damn Hot!
On Monday, August 9, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Sixth Assessment Report on Climate Change was released. Five possible models of our future were presented, none of which were particularly encouraging. In the best of these possible future worlds, we would have to deeply cut use of fossil fuels, and even so the temperatures would rise at least 1.5 degrees Centigrade (2.7 Fahrenheit) above global surface temperatures of 1850-1900. The impacts of glacial melt, sea level rise, increased extreme weather events and the other impacts we are now living with would continue for decades or centuries, but would begin to moderate around the turn of the century.
In the worst case, if we continue to increase our dependence on fossil fuels for a few more decades, we risk a temperature rise of 3.3 degrees C to 5.7 degrees C. In that case we would be facing catastrophic climate crisis and risking the extinction of our species, certainly of our way of life. We would also condemn thousands of other species to extinction, and perhaps our planet too!
In an intermediate scenario, a slow reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, we would likely raise the temperature by 2.1 degrees C to 3.5 degrees C.
Photo: IPCC Report Cover
As the Report notes, this Earth has not had a sustained global surface temperature at or above 2.5°C higher than 1850–1900 for over 3 million years.
Which future do you choose?
Right now, we are experiencing increased extreme weather events, wildfires, ice melt and heat waves. We are seeing temperature records broken every year. Coastal cities are flooding regularly. What more warning do we need to set off alarms?
The upcoming UN Climate Conference, COP 26, will test our commitment and political will to saving our planet, or at least to keeping the Earth livable for humanity.
What can you do? Get involved!
You can start by taking this action! Tell Governor Lamont that Connecticut Must Lead on Climate Action!
Sierra Club Connecticut and our allies are kicking off a Climate Campaign this month. Read more about it in this month’s article by Ann Gadwah, Climate Awareness Campaign Urges Governor Lamont To Act Boldly on Climate.