As jaw-dropping images of fires and floods dominate news cycles around the world, the UN science panel will unveil its much-anticipated projections of rising temperature and level on Monday. the sea less than three months before a crucial climate summit in Scotland.
After two weeks of virtual negotiations, 195 countries on Friday approved the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) comprehensive assessment of past and future warming in the form of a “summary for policymakers. “.
The text – checked and approved line by line, word by word – is likely to paint a grim picture of accelerating climate change and serious threats on the horizon.
In the wake of deadly floods in India, China and northern Europe as well as asphalt-melting heat waves in North America and southern Europe, the IPCC report is the first so-called assessment report since 2014.
The world and science have changed a lot since then.
With increasingly sophisticated technology enabling scientists to measure climate change and predict its future course, the report will project global temperature changes through the end of the century under different emission scenarios.
Based almost entirely on published research, he could predict – even under optimistic scenarios – a temporary “overshoot” of the Paris Agreement’s 1.5 degree Celsius target, and revise his estimates for the future upwards. long-term sea level rise.
It is also expected to reflect huge advancements in what’s known as attribution science, which allows experts to directly link individual extreme weather events to human-induced climate change.
While the underlying IPCC report is purely scientific, the summary for policymakers is negotiated by national representatives, and therefore subject to competing priorities.
Belgian climate physicist and former IPCC co-chair Jean-Pascal Ypersele, who was a party to the negotiations, said the discussions were guided by the underlying science.
“I can testify that the authors of #ClimateReport had the final say on every sentence in RID, which was really a summary FOR (not BY) the decision makers,” he said on Twitter.
The report comes less than three months before the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow, which are seen as vital to humanity’s chances of limiting the worst impacts of global warming.
“This will be the most striking warning yet that human behavior is alarmingly accelerating global warming and that is why COP26 must be the perfect time to do so,” said COP26 President Alok Sharma. , this week-end.
“We cannot afford to wait two years, five years, 10 years, now is the time,” he told a British newspaper.
French climatologist Corinne Le Quere congratulated delegates on Friday for finalizing “the text of what I think will be one of the most important scientific reports ever published.”
The latest round of IPCC climate assessments, known as AR6, will have two more parts.
A report by the working group on climate impacts, a draft of which was obtained exclusively by AFP, is expected to be published in February 2022.
Another report focusing on solutions to reduce emissions and adapt to climate change will be released next month.
© 2021 AFP