Climate in peril: a popular guide to the latest IPCC reports

Climate in peril: a popular guide to the latest IPCC reports

A guide to the IPCC report for those without a scientific background

The main purpose of this short guide is to help bridging the gap between science and policy and to increase public awareness about the urgency of action to combat climate change and its impacts. The booklet is intended particularly for those who do not have the scientific background to read the original synthesis report from the IPCC.

The authors predict that global GHG emissions will continue to grow over decades unless there are new policies to reduce climate change and to promote sustainable development. Furthermore, the paper states that warming and rising sea levels would continue for centuries, even if GHG emissions were reduced and concentrations stabilised. This would be due to feedbacks and the time-lag between cause and effect.

The paper indicates that some planned adaptation to climate change is occurring, but much more is needed to reduce vulnerability. Indeed, many technologies to mitigate climate change are already available, but incentives and research are needed to improve performance and cut cost.

The paper finds that prompt mitigation can buy time to stabilise emissions and to reduce, delay or avoid impacts. In addition, sustainable development and appropriate policy-making in sectors not apparently linked to climate help to stabilise emissions. In this sense, the paper underlines that delayed emissions reductions increase the risk of more severe climate change impacts.

The paper highlights that possible future changes in the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets are a major source of uncertainty about rising sea levels. Moreover, the paper figures that projections of climate change impacts beyond about 2050 are heavily dependent on scenarios and models.

  1. How good is this research?

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