On February 28, of this year, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued its 6th assessment report, AR6 as it’s called in the trade, but the world had “better” things to do and paid no attention:

• Russia invaded Ukraine; and

• The United States imposed sanctions on Russia, expanded its weapon deliveries, and started to increase its exports of liquid natural gas (LNG) to the world market.

The world continues to ignore the warnings of the IPCC, which —because of how this body operates—tends to err on the side of least drama, a time-honored, bad habit of climate scientists.

Indeed at COP27, the regular meetings held as part of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), lack of progress is obvious and greenwashing dominates, as Reuters reports: COP27 – Corporate climate pledges rife with greenwashing – U.N. expert group

SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt, Nov 8 (Reuters) – Promises by companies, banks and cities to achieve net-zero emissions often amount to little more than greenwashing, U.N. experts said in a report on Tuesday as they set out proposed new standards to harden net-zero claims.

The report, released at the COP27 climate conference in Egypt, is intended to draw a “red line” around false claims of progress in the fight against global warming that can confuse consumers, investors and policy makers. Also see With COP Gridlocked, Critics Blast ’27 Years of Obstructionism, Delay, and Greenwashing’ on the indispensable Naked Capitalism web site.

Here, as a reminder, are some of the “lowlights” of the sixth, largely ignored, assessment report, AR6 of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The panel informs its readers about the level of confidence its members have in the various predictions. Politicians could but won’t learn from that. Those, who live by spin, die by spin. Climate change: a threat to human wellbeing and health of the planet. Taking action now can secure our future

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change press release:

BERLIN, Feb 28 — Human-induced climate change is causing dangerous and widespread disruption in nature and affecting the lives of billions of people around the world, despite efforts to reduce the risks. People and ecosystems least able to cope are being hardest hit, said scientists in the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, released today. Technical Summary, page 41:

The following overarching conclusions have been derived from the whole of the assessment of Working Group II: i) The magnitude of observed impacts and projected climate risks indicate the scale of decision making, funding and investment needed over the next decade if climate resilient development is to be achieved. ii) Since AR5, climate risks are appearing faster and will get more severe sooner (high confidence). Impacts cascade through natural and human systems, often compounding with the impacts from other human activities. Feasible, integrated mitigation and adaptation solutions can be tailored to specific locations and monitored for their effectiveness, while avoiding conflict with sustainable development objectives, and managing risks and trade-offs (high confidence). iii) Available evidence on projected climate risks indicates that opportunities for adaptation to many climate risks will likely become constrained and have reduced effectiveness should 1.5°C global warming be exceeded and that, for many locations on Earth, capacity for adaptation is already significantly limited. The maintenance and recovery of natural and human systems will require the achievement of mitigation targets. Technical Summary, page 45

TS.B.1 Climate change has altered marine, terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems all around the world (very high confidence). Effects have been experienced earlier, are more widespread and with further-reaching consequences than anticipated (medium confidence). Technical Summary, page 45

TS.B.1.1 Anthropogenic climate change has exposed ecosystems to conditions that are unprecedented over millennia (high confidence), which has greatly impacted species on land and in the ocean (very high confidence). Consistent with expectations, species in all ecosystems have shifted their geographic ranges and altered the timing of seasonal events (very high confidence). Among thousands of species spread across terrestrial, freshwater and marine systems, half to two-thirds have shifted their ranges to higher latitudes (very high confidence), and approximately two-thirds have shifted towards earlier spring life events (very high confidence) in response to warming. The move of diseases and their vectors has brought new diseases into high Arctic and at higher elevations in mountain regions to which local wildlife and humans are not resistant (high confidence). These processes have led to emerging hybridisation, competition, temporal or spatial mismatches in predator-prey, insect-plant and host-parasite relationships, and invasion of alien plant pests or pathogens (medium confidence) Technical Summary, page 48

TS.B.2.2 Some extreme events have already emerged which exceeded projected global mean warming conditions for 2100, leading to abrupt changes in marine and terrestrial ecosystems (high confidence). Technical Summary, page 48

TS.B.2.3 Climate-related extremes have affected the productivity of agricultural, forestry and fishery sectors (high confidence). Droughts, floods, wildfires and marine heatwaves contribute to reduced food availability and increased food prices, threatening food security, nutrition, and livelihoods of millions of people across regions (high confidence). Page Technical Summary, page 48

TS.B.2.4: Extreme climatic events have been observed in all inhabited regions, with many regions experiencing unprecedented consequences, particularly when multiple hazards occur in the same time or space (very high confidence). Since AR5, the impacts of climate change and extreme weather events such as wildfires, extreme heat, cyclones, storms, and floods have adversely affected or caused loss and damage to human health; shelter; displacement; incomes and livelihoods; security; and inequality (high confidence). Over 20 million people have been internally displaced annually by weather-related extreme events since 2008, with storms and floods the most common drivers (high confidence). Climate-related extreme events are followed by negative impacts on mental health, wellbeing, life satisfaction, happiness, cognitive performance, and aggression in exposed populations (very high confidence) Page Technical Summary, page 48

TS.B.3 Climate change is already stressing food and forestry systems, with negative consequences for livelihoods, food security and nutrition of hundreds of millions of people, especially in low and mid-latitudes (high confidence). The global food system is failing to address food insecurity and malnutrition in an environmentally sustainable way. Technical Summary, page 49:

TS.B.4.2 Worldwide, people are increasingly experiencing unfamiliar precipitation patterns, including extreme precipitation events (high confidence). Nearly half a billion people now live in areas where the long-term average precipitation is now as high as was previously seen in only about one in six years (medium confidence). Approximately 163 million people now live in unfamiliarly dry areas (medium confidence) compared to 50 years ago. The intensity of heavy precipitation has increased in many regions since the 1950s (high confidence). Substantially more people (~709 million) live in regions where annual maximum one-day precipitation has increased than regions where it has decreased (~86 million) (medium confidence) since the 1950s. At the same time, more people (~700 million) have been experiencing longer dry spells than shorter dry spells since the 1950s (medium confidence), leading to compound hazards related to both warming and precipitation extremes in most parts of the world (medium confidence). Technical Summary, page 50 :

TS.B.5 Climate change has already harmed human physical and mental health (very high confidence). In all regions, health impacts often undermine efforts for inclusive development. Women, children, the elderly, Indigenous People, low-income households, and socially marginalized groups within cities, settlements, regions, and countries are the most vulnerable (high confidence). Technical Summary, page 51 TS-17

TS.B.5.3 Increasing temperatures and heatwaves have increased mortality and morbidity (very high confidence), with impacts that vary by age, gender, urbanization, and socioeconomic factors (very high confidence). A significant proportion of warm season heat-related mortality in temperate regions is attributed to observed anthropogenic climate change (medium confidence), with less data available for tropical regions in Africa (high confidence). For some heatwave events over the last two decades, associated health impacts have been partially attributed to observed climate change (high confidence). Highly vulnerable groups experiencing health impacts from heat stress include anyone working outdoors and especially those doing outdoor manual labour (e.g.,

construction work, farming). Potential hours of work lost due to heat has increased significantly over the past two decades (high confidence). Some regions are already experiencing heat stress conditions at or approaching the upper limits of labour productivity (high confidence). Technical Summary, page 51

TS.B.5.4 Climate change has contributed to malnutrition in all its forms in many regions, including undernutrition, overnutrition, and obesity, and to disease susceptibility (high confidence), especially for women, pregnant women, children, low-income households, Indigenous Peoples, minority groups, and small-scale producers (high confidence). Technical Summary, page 51

TS.B.5.8 Climate change driven range shifts of wildlife, exploitation of wildlife, and loss of wildlife habitat quality have increased opportunities for pathogens to spread from wildlife to human populations, which has resulted in increased emergence of zoonotic disease [a disease which can be transmitted to humans from animals] epidemics and pandemics (medium confidence). Zoonoses that have been historically rare or never documented in Arctic and subarctic regions of Europe, Asia, and North America are emerging as a result of climate-induced environmental change (e.g., anthrax) and spreading poleward and increasing in incidence (e.g., tularemia) (very high confidence). Technical Summary, page 54 TS-19

TS.B.9 The effects of climate change impacts have been observed across economic sectors, although the size of the damages varies by sector and by region (high confidence). Recent extreme weather and climate-induced events have been associated with large costs through damaged property, infrastructure, and supply chain disruptions, although development patterns have driven much of these increases (high confidence). Adverse impacts on economic growth have been identified from extreme weather events (high confidence) with large effects in developing countries (high confidence). Widespread climate impacts have undermined economic livelihoods, especially for vulnerable populations (high confidence). Climate impacts and projected risks have been insufficiently internalized into private and public sector planning and budgeting practices and adaptation finance (medium confidence). Technical Summary, page 65

TS.C.9. Climate change increases risks for a larger number of growing cities and settlements across wider areas, especially in coastal and mountain regions, affecting an additional 2.5 billion people residing in cities mainly in Africa and Asia by 2050 (high confidence) In all cities and urban areas, projected risks faced by people from climate-driven impacts has increased (high confidence). Many risks will not be felt evenly across cities and settlements or within cities.

Communities in informal settlements will have higher exposure and lower capacity to adapt (high confidence). Most at risk are women and children who make up the majority populations of these settlements (high confidence). Risks to critical physical infrastructure in cities can be severe and pervasive under higher warming levels, potentially resulting in compound and cascading risks, and can disrupt livelihoods both within and across cities (high confidence). In coastal cities and settlements, risks to people and infrastructure will get progressively worse in a changing climate, sea-level rise, and with ongoing coastal development (very high confidence). Technical Summary, page 66

TS.C.10 Across sectors and regions, market and non-market damages and adaptation costs will be lower at 1.5°C compared to 3°C or higher global warming levels (high confidence). Recent estimates of projected global economic damages of climate impacts are overall higher than previous estimates and generally increase with global average temperature (high confidence). However, the spread in the estimates of the magnitude of these damages is substantial and does not allow for robust range to be established (high confidence). Non-market, non-economic damages and adverse impacts on livelihoods will be concentrated in regions and populations that are already more vulnerable (high confidence). Socioeconomic drivers and more inclusive development will largely determine the extent of these damages (high confidence). Technical Summary, page 69

TS.C.13 Warming pathways that imply a temporary temperature increase over ‘well below 2°C above pre-industrial’ for multi-decadal time spans imply severe risks and irreversible impacts in many natural and human systems (e.g. glacier melt, loss of coral reefs, loss of human lives due to heat) even if the temperature goals are reached later (high confidence).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *