Bleak global prediction anticipated in UN climate change report

·3-min read

Australia is being warned time is running out to address the climate crisis ahead of a confronting new report from the United Nations.

The landmark study from the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is due to be published later today.

It will include a major review from more than 200 climate scientists of scientific knowledge about the impact of human activity on global warming — the first such assessment in eight years.

Sun through dark smoke clouds from bushfires with red glow, during climate change in Australia. Source: Getty Images
A UN report will warn of more fires, drought and floods if global warming continues. Source: Getty Images

In 2013, scientists found that global warming was “unequivocal” and human influence on the climate was clear, with the majority of warming since the 1950s extremely likely to be down to human activity.

The latest IPCC report is expected to indicate how soon global temperatures could rise 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels — a limit which has dangerous consequences for humanity.

This report will claim without emergency action and an increase to 2030 targets, the world will head past the 1.5 degree goal in the Paris Agreement in the next decade.

Ahead of the publication Richie Merzian, from The Australia Institute, warned “the science gets stronger”.

“It’s heartbreaking. It will make for dire reading,” he said.

Mr Merzian predicted the discussion may shift to the impacts of methane and natural gas, not just CO2.

“The goal is to arm governments with the ability to increase climate efforts,” he said.

Report drops ahead of Cop26 climate talks

The report comes as the world experiences increasingly extreme weather and global temperatures climb to 1.2 degrees above pre-industrial levels. Unprecedented bushfires are burning in Europe and North America.

Governments around the world, including Australia, will face mounting pressure to take action with crucial Cop26 climate talks coming up in Glasgow in November.

A photo of flames approaching at Gouves village on the island of Evia, about 185 kilometres north of Athens, Greece, Sunday, Aug. 8, 2021. Source: AAP
The IPCC report comes as devastating fires rage through Greece. Soucre: AAP

'Australia is nowhere on climate action'

David Ritter from Greenpeace Australia said the findings will be “deeply sobering”.

“Things are happening faster than we thought and with greater severity. We expect the report to say the window is rapidly closing,” he said.

“The implications for Australia are enormous,” he warned, pointing to the Black Summer bushfires, drought, recent flooding events and superstorms to hit the country.

“And yet Australia is nowhere on climate action. We are on the path to be considered a rogue state when it comes to climate action. The key takeaway is there can be be no more excuses and no more delays.”

The new IPCC report will be published at 6pm AEST. 

With AAP

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