The UN has issued a code red warning for the global temperature. Under all scenarios, the UN’s intergovernmental panel on climate change (IPCC) predicts that global temperatures will rise by 1.5°C or more over the next 20 years. The IPCC’s Working Group I created the Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis report, which is the first of three parts of the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6). It sheds light on the planet’s future as greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions continue to rise unchecked in the atmosphere, declaring that nearly all of the observed warming since the late 1800s has been caused by humans, with the majority of the effects irreversible.
Without drastic emissions reductions, the Earth’s average surface temperature would rise 1.5 degrees Celsius in the next 20 years, and 2 degrees Celsius by the middle of the century. There will be further warming in the future decades unless global emissions are reduced immediately, dramatically, and rapidly. Even if emissions are reduced to zero by the middle of the century, the 1.5°C limit will be exceeded by 0.1°C. Changes in the water cycle, precipitation patterns, greater floods, and future water scarcity are all possible consequences of retreating snowlines and melting glaciers. Human activities have caused the climate to warm at a rate not seen in the last 2,000 years. CO2 levels are at their greatest level in at least two million years. The carbon budget with a 66% likelihood of keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius is currently 400 billion tonnes of CO2. Extreme sea level occurrences that happened once every 100 years in the past might happen every year by the end of the century.
Impact on India
As the temperature of the Indian Ocean rises faster than the rest of the world, so will the rise in sea level. Extreme temperatures, draughts, cyclones, and other natural disasters will all affect the Indian subcontinent. In addition to the regular occurrence of glacial lake bursts in the Himalayan region and deluge of low-lying coastal regions, India will experience comparable consequences. In the next several decades, a rise in annual mean precipitation in India might be followed by more extreme rainfall events in the country’s southern regions.
What must be done
According to the study, limiting human-induced global warming to a certain level necessitates limiting cumulative carbon dioxide emissions and achieving net zero CO2 emissions, as well as significant reductions in other greenhouse gas emissions. “Strong, fast, and long-term reductions in methane emissions would also help to reduce the warming effect of reducing aerosol pollution.” The G20 and other big emitters, in particular, must join the net-zero emissions alliance and reaffirm their pledges.
The IPCC report’s message is very clear: we must increase our mitigation ambition. If we respond to this catastrophe with unity and bravery, we can achieve inclusive and green economies, wealth, cleaner air, and better health for all.