Global warming: a scientific report paints a bleak future
As global warming accelerates, 195 countries on Monday began adopting a landmark scientific report on its devastating impacts, which will undoubtedly paint a bleak picture of the future that humanity must prepare for.
After more than a century and a half of economic development devoting fossil fuels, the world has gained approximately +1.1°C compared to the pre-industrial era, already multiplying heat waves, droughts, storms or devastating floods.
In the first part of their report published last August, UN climate experts (IPCC) estimated that the mercury would reach around 2030, ten years earlier than expected, the threshold of +1 .5°C, the most ambitious objective of the Paris agreement.
Before a third opus in April on solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the second, whose negotiations begin on Monday, looks at the impacts of global warming, and how to prepare for it (“adaptation”) .
It must decline these consequences on all continents and in all their aspects: health, food security, water shortage, displacement of populations, destruction of ecosystems
“Life on the planet is being hit by climate change and many systems are reaching their limits (…). We also have our limits. Like other species, our living space is shrinking,” commented Hans-Otto Pörtner, co-chair of the group of nearly 300 scientists who prepared this report, a few days ago.
A preliminary version of this text, which AFP had obtained last June, showed that life as we know it would inevitably be transformed, in the short term.
On almost every continent, the world is already seeing with its own eyes the disasters at work. Like last year with the flames ravaging the American West, Greece or Turkey, waves submerging regions of Germany or China, or a thermometer that approaches 50°C in Canada.
Faced with this observation and the need to reduce emissions by nearly 50% by 2030 so as not to exceed +1.5°C, the world promised at COP26 in Glasgow in November to accelerate the fight against global warming.
“Not enough” to ward off “the climate catastrophe that is always knocking at the door”, then reacted the Secretary General of the UN Antonio Guterres who calls in particular for the exit from coal.< /p>
As states are called upon to step up their ambition by COP27 in Egypt at the end of 2022, “I hope this report will be a good kick where I think for some,” the envoy told AFP. John Kerry.
Although “we shouldn't need worrying new statistics to know what to do”.
It’s February 28 what will this new assessment of the IPCC be unveiled, after two weeks of virtual meeting of the 195 Member States who will sift, line by line, word by word, the “summary for decision-makers”, a politically sensitive digest of thousands of pages of the scientific report complete.
Evolution compared to the previous report of seven years ago, the attention paid to “adaptation”, that is to say the solutions to deal with the impacts of climate change.
« The focus on (adaptation) solutions is not just a shopping list of what could be done, but also an assessment of the effectiveness and feasibility” of the measures, explained the other co- President of the IPCC group Debra Roberts.
But “there are limits to adaptation,” climatologist Laurent Bopp, one of the authors of the report, told AFP.
“In some areas, if temperatures exceed very high levels, human life is no longer possible. If in certain coastal areas the sea level rises by more than one meter, protection with dykes is no longer possible either. So in certain scenarios, we can expect large population migrations,” he adds.
Scientists and NGOs call for all necessary decisions to be taken to limit irreversible consequences as much as possible.< /p>
With the new report, “the reality of those living in the most vulnerable situations will be impossible to ignore,” hopes Kaisa Kosonen of Greenpeace.
“The hard facts that will be presented will make the lack of action and commitment by large emitters more evident, and the calls for justice even louder.”