IPCC & 4th National Climate Assessment Report on the Urgency of the Climate Crisis

Two reports came out this fall calling for timely action to lessen the impacts of climate change and prevent environmental collapse. The first report, released in October by the IPCC (see below), stated that we only have twelve years to stem emissions to prevent environmental collapse. The second, released just after Thanksgiving, focused specifically on the U.S. and has a special section on the impact of climate change on agriculture. A link to the report is here and the National Sustainable Ag Coalition’s summary of the report is here.

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The Paris Agreement includes support by more than 170 countries focused on circumventing the rise of global temperatures a maximum of 2°C above pre-industrial levels. Globally, we have hit the 1°C mark above pre-industrial levels and are already witnessing adverse impacts such as devastating weather events, firestorms, sea level rise, and increasing food insecurity.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the IPCC, is commissioned by the United Nations climate treaty to investigate the potential impacts of a 1.5°C and 2°C rise in temperature on the globe and their findings were released in October, 2018.

The IPCC report titled “Global Warming of 1.5°C (click here), reveals sobering projections for humanity at the lower end of the spectrum including increased food insecurity, coral die off by 2050, and seawater rise. Governments that are part of the Paris Agreement are not currently meeting the projected emissions reductions to hit this lower goal and will meet in Poland in December to discuss strategies to address the report’s findings that call for curtailing global emissions to zero by 2050.

For a digestible analysis of the report, you may want to read New York Times’ reporting here or this Medium article titled “The IPCC Report is a Wake Up Call for Scholars, Advocates, and Philanthropists.” The latter article posits some strategies towards achieving the necessary goals outlined by the IPCC, but fails to include land-based strategies for carbon sequestration. This article instead focuses on carbon-capture technologies that will likely ensure continuing payouts to gas and oil companies as the predominant solution to hit the IPCC report’s stated goals.

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