The IPCC, also known as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change emphasizes the increasing confidence that scientists have on human activities impacts on climate change.
The big story in the latest report connects human activities with increasing CO2 concentrations, rising global temperatures and accelerating climate impacts.
It also explains how CO2 is causing planetary warming, with humans releasing 2.39 trillion tons of CO2 into the atmosphere since the year 1850. This has lead the global average temperature to be 1.26°C higher than 1850, with nearly half of this increase occurring since the year 2000.
Examples like this summers heat in the Pacific Northwest, deepening drought and fires in the west and extreme rain in the Midwest and Northeast are all consistent with the predictions discussed in the IPCC report. These trends are likely to continue until CO2 emissions are reduced to zero.
The report also spends time looking at what cuts to our global emissions would be needed to keep temperatures from rising more than 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. (This is noted as two degrees Celsius for the Paris Climate Agreement). Meeting this level isn’t impossible but the report explains, it is becoming more difficult.
So you may be asking, what happens if we exceed this level of warming. Will the world end? The answer is no, but the more warming we cause the worse these changes become.
If you are interested in the full report, you can find that link here.