With floods and fires, the summertime of 2021 has become one of the most devastating periods throughout the world, indicating that the effects of global warming are already pervasive and intensifying. These disasters, and their link to human-caused global warming, is only one of the major topics discussed in a landmark climate report issued on Monday by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). It is a component of the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report, which was developed by over 230 prominent scientists from across the globe. This is the most important climate study made by the scientific community in decades. According to the report, the following are the major challenges faced by humanity as a result of climate change.
Carbon dioxide emissions in the environment are greater today than they have been in the last 2 million years. Today, the atmosphere contains a minimum of 800,000 years’ worth of methane. Moreover, the rate of greenhouse gas emissions outpaces all climate cycles over the exact same time span.
Heat readings have surged quicker in the previous half-century than during any other timeframe in the last 2 millenniums. The mean global surface temperature was 1.1° Celsius warmer in 2011–2020 when compared to that from 1850–1900, with land heating faster than the ocean. This decade is expected to be warmer than any time since the previous interglacial period that occurred 125,000 years ago.
Rising air temperatures are melting icebergs at a previously unrecorded pace for the 21st century. The Arctic sea ice cover has gone lower than it has ever been in the past ten centuries. Glacier retreat has been unparalleled in the previous two millennia, with nearly all the glaciers in the world simultaneously receding since the 50s.
Heatwaves are the most evident link between rising global temperatures and climate change. According to the research, they have gotten more regular and intense over most geographical regions since the 1950s. The latest anomalies would have been highly unlikely if the global climate had not been influenced by humans. It also mentions that oceanic heatwaves, which are abnormally high temperatures occurring in ocean waters, have roughly quadrupled since the 80s.
As atmospheric temperature increases, the air can store more water, resulting in greater precipitation. As a result, the intensity and frequency of heavy rainfall occurrences have escalated since 1950.
Tropical storms and cyclones patterns are changing as sea temperatures rise and additional atmospheric moisture is present. During the previous 40 years, the global frequency of big storms has increased substantially.