Everything is being overshadowed right now by the war in Ukraine. But today’s very gloomy climate report gets even worse in light of Putin’s actions. How will some of the world’s leaders ever be able to deal with the climate crisis, when instead they choose to start meaningless wars?
A new, terrible war is raging in Europe.
In the light of the explosions, another report from the UN’s climate panel IPCC was released today.
It’s not an uplifting read, but on the other hand, we had it felt: It’s worse than we thought. It’s going faster than we thought. The time we have to act is breathtakingly short. The change we must bring about, through rapidly reducing emissions, is enormous.
The effects of climate change are becoming increasingly complex and difficult to manage, the report claims that several different types of climate disasters will strike simultaneously and reinforce each other.
The IPCC’s formulations are sharper in outline than ever before. If we break the 1.5-degree limit – which is not very far away – over a long period of time, so-called overshoot, it will have irreversible consequences for the ecosystems at the poles, along the coasts and up in the mountains.
The ice will melt faster and faster, sea levels will rise faster.
But one of the most unpleasant things about the report is about what is called feedback effects – that the heating itself gives rise to emissions, which in turn increases the heating in a self-reinforcing process. The IPCC has long been wary of addressing the issue of feedback loops, but here they take the leaf out of their mouths.
Depending on the extent and duration of the overshoot, some effects will cause emissions of additional greenhouse gases and some will be irreversible, even if global warming decreases.
Among other things, this means that large amounts of bound carbon in the Arctic can be released, and natural carbon sinks such as large parts of our forests die.
The threat to our future
This is the biggest threat to our future – that we no longer have the opportunity to choose the future, but that it is irreversibility that chooses for us.
Although the report states that many measures are being taken with regard to adaptation to climate risks, it is also seen that these adaptation possibilities are unevenly distributed. Although the awareness and willingness to act exists in many countries, the issue of justice is crucial. The climate burden hits the already most vulnerable hardest.
It is this challenge that world leaders should now address. Instead, they are forced to deal with a meaningless invasion war that makes the task increasingly remote. Which again shifts the focus from the big threat.
When the madness is over, the world must look up and respond immediately to the demands.
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