The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has raised a climate emergency following the release of Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis.
This report, which saw hundreds of scientists review more than 1,400 studies to evaluate how human activity is contributing to the Earth’s climate change, has called for immediate action to the “immediate threat” of climate change.
It found that the main human causes of climate change are heat-absorbing greenhouse gases (GHG) released by fossil fuel combustion, deforestation, and agriculture among others.
The report states that many of the changes observed in the climate are unprecedented in hundreds of thousands of years.
And some of the climate changes already set in motion – such as continued sea-level rise – are irreversible.
The climate is changing for the worse, and every nation, and every sector of the economy must take immediate action.
CLA Director of External Affairs Jonathan Roberts said:
“This report is a reality check for us all.
“People are seeing the weather become more extreme with their own eyes. The climate is changing for the worse, and every nation, and every sector of the economy must take immediate action. The agriculture sector is no different. Farmers are already planting trees, managing hedgerows, restoring peatland and adopting new farming techniques to reduce their emissions, but the lack of technological solutions is halting further progress - a point noted by the IPCC.”
The report also shows methane levels are their highest in 800,000 years – a problem we cannot ignore.
Mr Roberts added: “It’s important to note that, as we are on track to reach 1.5c in warming by 2030, short-term reductions in methane can have a massive impact.
“In particular, the report recognises that the GWP* is an accurate way of calculating the warming impact of the different greenhouse gases - something the CLA has been calling for the IPCC and governments to implement for a long time.
“GWP100, the current metric, does not recognise the significant differences between long and short-lived gases and in our view should be scrapped.”
- Global surface temperature was 1.09C higher in the decade between 2011-2020 than between 1850-1900.
- The past five years have been the hottest on record since 1850
- The recent rate of sea level rise has nearly tripled compared with 1901-1971
- Human influence is "very likely" (90%) the main driver of the global retreat of glaciers since the 1990s and the decrease in Arctic sea-ice
- It is "virtually certain" that hot extremes including heatwaves have become more frequent and more intense since the 1950s, while cold events have become less frequent and less severe
Read the report in full here