UN climate report projects path into "uncharted territory of destruction"

UN climate report projects path into "uncharted territory of destruction"
The latest climate report from the WMO suggests we're headed into "uncharted territory of destruction"
The latest climate report from the WMO suggests we're headed into "uncharted territory of destruction"
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The latest climate report from the WMO suggests we're headed into "uncharted territory of destruction"
The latest climate report from the WMO suggests we're headed into "uncharted territory of destruction"

A new United Nations report has delved into the widening gap between our aspirations in fighting climate change and the reality of the situation, and reinforced the notion that we are very much headed in the wrong direction. The report also warns of dangerous tipping points for climate systems and the extreme weather events that will result, with the world’s most vulnerable populations expected to suffer the most.

Called United in Science, the report is the handiwork of the UN’s Word Meteorological Organization and pulls together the most recent science around climate change. The report found that the last seven years were the warmest on record, and that greenhouse gas concentrations continue to climb to record highs. After a brief dip due to coronavirus-related lockdowns, fossil fuel emission rates have returned to their pre-pandemic highs.

The report also found that the ocean is warming at an accelerated rate, with strong increases seen in the past two decades. Around 90% of the accumulated heat in the Earth system is held in the ocean, and the ocean's heat content was higher between 2018 and 2022 than it was for any other five-year period on record.

It also calculates that the likelihood of the planet breaching the 1.5 °C (2.7 °F) increase above pre-industrial levels, as targeted in the Paris Agreement, is 48% in the next five years. Though the agreement relates to long-term warming, the frequency of individual years pushing through this threshold is only expected to increase in time.

As for turning things around, the report states that far more serious action is needed for the goals of the Paris Agreement to remain obtainable. Countries are falling well short of meeting their emissions reduction targets, and these national pledges need to be seven times higher to achieve the 1.5 °C target.

If we don’t, we’re in grave danger of setting off multiple climate tipping points, the report warns. These include the melting of the polar ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica, weakening of key ocean currents that distribute heat and water, and drying of the Amazon rainforest. These could lead to significant changes to the climate system that we can’t reverse.

“Floods, droughts, heatwaves, extreme storms and wildfires are going from bad to worse, breaking records with alarming frequency,” said said UN Secretary-General António Guterres. “Heatwaves in Europe. Colossal floods in Pakistan. Prolonged and severe droughts in China, the Horn of Africa and the United States. There is nothing natural about the new scale of these disasters. They are the price of humanity’s fossil fuel addiction. This year’s United in Science report shows climate impacts heading into uncharted territory of destruction. Yet each year we double-down on this fossil fuel addiction, even as the symptoms get rapidly worse.”

Source: World Meteorological Organization

Nelson Hyde Chick
We have forsaken future generations by having too many of them. If only in the sixties we had headed the advice of people like the Ehrlichs, Rachel Carson, Club of Rome and Norman Borlaug were all warning us about the dangers of overpopulation, and that was when there were only three billion of us; if only we were currently approaching four billion instead of eight, climate change would be distant blip on our radar, the Gulf Spill, fracking and the development of Canada’s tar sands would not have happened because we would not be that hard up for oil yet, and the word Anthropocene would not have been coined to label mankind driving all other life to extinction.
Nelson, the World population is actually declining. Many nations are having fewer children, below the replacement rate. Check this out.
I love that so many pictures which strive to show evil coal or acid-rain-causing emissions are actually simple non-toxic steam releases from the cooling towers of benign industries.
@Nelson , Ehrlich was proven wrong, Rachel Carson recanted some of her rants, and soylent green never made it into production. You can't win 'em all.
We keep getting ever more hyperbolic warnings and predictions, yet long term measurements of global temperature and sea level rise refute the claims. We are currently about 1° C warmer than the 1850-1900 average and sea level has increased about 20 cm (~8 inches) over the last 120 years. It is extremely unlikely that temperatures will increase another 0.5 C in the next 7 years as the current trend is about 0.13 C per decade. No one can explain the numerous sudden climate shifts (colder and warmer) over the last 10,000 years, like the Little Ice Age, and the post-LIA warming. The atmospheric CO2 theory certainly doesn't. Until we have a better understanding of these natural influnces it's premature to say human CO2 emissions have more than a minor effect.
Not that we shouldn't reduce our emissions drastically, but there isn't any stopping what's coming, and it will reduce our population all by itself, but if we want any of us to survive the long haul it has to come to a no choice, quit opening new wells, quit making crap we really don't need to "survive", fossil fuel supplies will dry up. Toys must be made illegal any type of leisure water craft, no of road vehicle's, air traffic down to almost nothing - work where you live, no vacations, etc. That includes the rich whom think they are above such rules.
I used to think EV's were an important solution to this problem now I am more of the opinion the actual answer looks more like walkable cities. As long as commuting 30-40 minutes each way alone in a 4,000 lb machine every day I don't think just making incremental improvements in the efficiency of that machine is really going to drastically move the needle. We would need to fundamentally rethink almost everything in American society. Children cannot safely go anywhere on bicycles and need someone to taxi them everywhere etc. We even pour tons of resources into retirements savings, elderly care, and child care when in many other societies elderly help with child care solving for both issues. We've gotten so much wrong and it would be difficult to fix it. Swapping ICE for EV isn't even the tip of the iceberg. We'd rather build rockets to Mars than actually address this in any meaningful way. This doesn't end well.
@Daishi - there is far more inertia in what we do and think than in our bodies. Being obsessed with GDP growth isn't very helpful when the environmental degradation and climate issues become evere more pressing.