Most recent IPCC report calls for urgent action.

Climate change is getting worse, we have the tools if we make changes now.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE)— The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) released a follow-up report last week to the IPCC sixth assessment, AR6 Synthesis Report: Climate Change 2023.  It’s a 36 page, free download, that lays out the facts and the science on climate change in an easy to read format.  Even though the science in this report is not new, it’s a great tool for anyone interested in learning more about our climate change issues we face today. It also has the projections of what the future could look like in 2090 for children born today.

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The IPCC releases regular climate reports to help bridge the gap between policy makers and the scientific community.  Communicating climate change science can be challenging and tricky with the various issues we face with climate change- and that’s because it’s not a one size fits all approach. This is where experts, like Baylor Fox-Kemper, research scientist and Brown University Professor, contribute their work and volunteer their time as IPCC authors, as well as others who assess the thousands of scientific papers published each year. The IPCC has 195 members (countries) and thousands of scientists from all over the world who contribute their research and time to the work of the IPCC.

The AR6 Synthesis Report Summary includes what we know about:

  • what drives climate change.
  • its impacts.
  • future risks.
  • how we can adapt and mitigate these problems.
  • how we can reduce those risks.

In the opening statement, António Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General said, “It’s urgent we take action now. We can still secure a livable sustainable future for all.” He went on to paint a grave picture of where our world is headed, “Humanity is on thin ice and that ice is melting fast. Humans are responsible for virtually all global heating over the last 200 years.”

The report says the impact of planet-heating pollution is already more severe than expected, and everything scientists have been predicting over the last 30 years is no longer a future problem, but more like a today problem. If we do not adjust our habits, we are on a path towards dangerous and irreversible consequences. To break it down, the international climate goals are set to slip out of reach unless all start making changes today.

It’s not all doom and gloom. There is a silver lining to this story; we already have the resources and the solutions available to us, we need to adjust our habits.  Don’t let the bigger problems overwhelm you. By making small changes in your daily habits is the key, and those changes do in fact, make a difference. 

“I think one of the most important things an individual can do is get informed.” said Fox-Kemper on what someone can do, and by downloading the report and becoming informed is the first step. 


 The IPCC was created in 1988 by the world meteorological organization and the united nations environment program.


Ipcc Ar6 Syr Spm Figure1

Figure SPM.1: (a) Climate change has already caused widespread impacts and related losses and damages on human systems and altered terrestrial, freshwater and ocean ecosystems worldwide. Physical water availability includes balance of water available from various sources including ground water, water quality and demand for water. Global mental health and displacement assessments reflect only assessed regions. Confidence levels reflect the assessment of attribution of the observed impact to climate change. (b) Observed impacts are connected to physical climate changes including many that have been attributed to human influence such as the selected climatic impact-drivers shown. Confidence and likelihood levels reflect the assessment of attribution of the observed climatic impact-driver to human influence. (c) Observed (1900–2020) and projected (2021–2100) changes in global surface temperature (relative to 1850–1900), which are linked to changes in climate conditions and impacts, illustrate how the climate has already changed and will change along the lifespan of three representative generations (born in 1950, 1980 and 2020). Future projections (2021–2100) of changes in global surface temperature are shown for very low (SSP1-1.9), low (SSP1-2.6), intermediate (SSP2-4.5), high (SSP3-7.0) and very high (SSP5-8.5) GHG emissions scenarios. Changes in annual global surface temperatures are presented as ‘climate stripes’, with future projections showing the human-caused long-term trends and continuing modulation by natural variability (represented here using observed levels of past natural variability). Colours on the generational icons correspond to the global surface temperature stripes for each year, with segments on future icons differentiating possible future experiences. {2.1, 2.1.2, Figure 2.1, Table 2.1, Figure 2.3, Cross-Section Box.2, 3.1, Figure 3.3, 4.1, 4.3} (Box SPM.1)



Ipcc Ar6 Syr Spm Figure6

Figure SPM.6: The illustrative development pathways (red to green) and associated outcomes (right panel) show that there is a rapidly narrowing window of opportunity to secure a liveable and sustainable future for all. Climate resilient development is the process of implementing greenhouse gas mitigation and adaptation measures to support sustainable development. Diverging pathways illustrate that interacting choices and actions made by diverse government, private sector and civil society actors can advance climate resilient development, shift pathways towards sustainability, and enable lower emissions and adaptation. Diverse knowledge and values include cultural values, Indigenous Knowledge, local knowledge, and scientific knowledge. Climatic and non-climatic events, such as droughts, floods or pandemics, pose more severe shocks to pathways with lower climate resilient development (red to yellow) than to pathways with higher climate resilient development (green). There are limits to adaptation and adaptive capacity for some human and natural systems at global warming of 1.5°C, and with every increment of warming, losses and damages will increase. The development pathways taken by countries at all stages of economic development impact GHG emissions and mitigation challenges and opportunities, which vary across countries and regions. Pathways and opportunities for action are shaped by previous actions (or inactions and opportunities missed; dashed pathway) and enabling and constraining conditions (left panel), and take place in the context of climate risks, adaptation limits and development gaps. The longer emissions reductions are delayed, the fewer effective adaptation options. {Figure 4.2; 3.1; 3.2; 3.4; 4.2; 4.4; 4.5; 4.6; 4.9}



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