Mar 1, 2022
Failing to act much faster to limit the rise in the Earth’s temperatures will lead to dire consequences for life on the planet. That's according to a United Nations report released Monday. The report shows that even tiny increases in temperature lead to more floods, drought, fires, and loss of homes.
The report makes a much more urgent plea for climate change action than ever before. It represents “an atlas of human suffering," the UN secretary general said. He added that it shows "failed climate leadership."
Slowing the Earth’s warming to prevent the worst effects of climate change relies on the 2015 Paris Agreement. It set a goal to limit the Earth’s warming to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) compared with pre-industrial times.
But the Earth’s temperature has already climbed 1.1 degrees Celsius (2 degrees) Fahrenheit warmer. And the temperature is rapidly increasing. That's mostly due to the burning of fossil fuels. Most experts say we’re likely to climb above the 1.5 degree Celsius mark by the 2030s.
Some nations believe that increase will happen. They pledge to bring down temperatures in the decades after. That would entail using unproven technology to remove carbon from the air. The new report warns against that approach. It would fail to prevent the dire consequences of climate change, the report says.
Want more of the backstory? Read our previous coverage:
Nov. 15, 2021: As Climate Summit Closes, “Planet Is Hanging By a Thread”
Because IPCC! [Video]
This video presents a read aloud of a graphic novel, which tells the history of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Because IPCC! [Graphic Novel]
This resource tells the history of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in the form of a graphic novel.
Greta Thunberg Speech at COP25
This video shows Greta Thunberg's full speech at the COP25 conference in 2019 in Madrid, Spain.