Humanity has had its “final warning” about the state of our climate, according to an alarming new scientific report.
More than 300 scientists signed off on the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, with the most authoritative global body on climate change urging countries to “aim higher, act faster or risk losing everything” in its final report for the 2020s.
He IPCC Climate Change 2023: Synthesis ReportCompiled by hundreds of scientists from 67 countries, it was released on Monday and brings together the contributions of the sixth IPSS assessment cycle.
Prior to the report’s release, the Climate Council warned that the world is at serious risk of climate catastrophes such as the irreversible loss of coral reefs, the loss of alpine species, the collapse of forests in South Australia, the loss of kelp forests, rising sea levels, more severe fire weather and fatal heat waves.
“Australians are already being hurt by climate impacts, such as worsening extreme weather, but we can substantially limit further damage by moving quickly away from fossil fuels and seeing greenhouse gas emissions plummet within this decade.” said the council.
Climate Council Research Director Dr Simon Bradshaw He said the new report is a final warning, though the general message has been repeated over and over again.
“The central message from climate scientists is unequivocal: governments must come together to slash emissions and halt the extraction and burning of fossil fuels within this decade,” he said.
Australia is ‘vulnerable’ to the impacts of climate change
Climate adviser, former IPCC author and professor of biology at Macquarie University, Professor Lesley Hughes says the stakes are high for Australia.
“Australia is one of the developed countries most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and we have seen the risks rise dramatically over the last five years,” he said.
“We have a lot to lose and a lot to gain if we act decisively so that emissions plummet in this critical decade.“
He said the findings of the most recent IPCC report would be “appalling” and that since the last, Australia has experienced more “unnatural disasters”.
“We need to focus on the fact that predictions are now being turned into observations,” Professor Hughes added.
Pointing out that global emissions are rising once again, Professor Hughes said we now have a longer way to go.
“We have a lockdown window to fuel the global momentum to get back on track for a safer climate,” he said.
“Governments must heed the warnings in this report and step up action. Every fraction of a degree of warming matters. Every action matters.”
Dr. Bradshaw noted that while there has been progress with respect to renewable energy and cleaner transportation, the change is not happening fast enough.
“If we haven’t seriously turned things around by the time the next assessment report is due, we’re in deep trouble,” he said.
Dr. Bradshaw said the world has a choice to act quickly in this decade and the worst can be avoided if the right things are done now.
“There are so many solutions available, such as solar and wind power, storage, appliances, and clean transportation options. We have to put our skates on,” he said.