UAE Press: Nations should heed UN’s dire climate forecast

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ABU DHABI, 11th August, 2021 (WAM) — “For years, scientists have been warning about the impact of global warming. They have cited the threat from very hot weather, drought, floods, torrential rain, earthquakes and rising seas by way of examples,” commented a local English daily.
“They have again sounded the warning drumbeat: a UN science report on Monday showed everyone is going to get hit by the speeding effects of climate change. So people should be protected – and right away,” Gulf Today said in its editorial on Wednesday.
More than 200 scientists have contributed to the report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). It points out that global warming of about 1.1 degrees Celsius has brought many changes in different regions – from more severe droughts and storms to rising seas.
The daily said that the planet will become so hot that temperatures in about ten years will cross the international level of warming that world leaders have been trying to prevent.
They have called this a ‘code red’ for humans across the globe. The report squarely pins the blame on human beings for causing this climate crisis. It also makes more precise and warmer forecasts for the 21st century than it did last time it was issued in 2013.
It said the world will cross the 1.5-degree-Celsius warming mark in the 2030s, earlier than some past predictions. Warming has ramped up in recent years, data shows.
It noted, “The IPCC had increasingly issued a shot across the bows in its regular reports over the past four decades, but that had not led to adequate policy responses.”
“The world listened but didn’t hear; the world listened but it didn’t act strongly enough – and as a result, climate change is a problem that is here now,” said Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme.
“Nobody is safe and it’s getting worse faster,” she told journalists at the online report launch.
The paper then quoted Petteri Taalas, the Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), which hosts the IPCC, who said that current pledges by governments to cut their emissions could, if confirmed and implemented, limit global warming to 2.1C.
But that level of temperature rise would still bring many problems, including food shortages, extreme heat, forest fires, sea level rise, a potential “refugee crisis” and negative impacts for the global economy and biodiversity, he added.
The report provides an improved understanding of climate change and how it is already playing out around the world.
All parts of the world are being affected. The report contains detailed information on impacts by region, and fast-developing knowledge on attributing extreme weather events to climate change. It also offers an interactive atlas allowing people to check climatic changes where they live.
Extreme heat is driving massive fires in Greece and Turkey, it said.
Some harm from climate change – dwindling ice sheets, rising sea levels and changes in the oceans as they lose oxygen and become more acidic – is “irreversible for centuries to millennia,” the report said.
For the first time, the report offers an interactive atlas for people to see what has happened and may happen to where they live.
The report includes specific scientific information on the polar regions, saying it is very likely the Arctic has warmed at more than twice the global rate over the past 50 years.
The editorial continued, “But all is not lost. It is not too late to cut climate-heating emissions.
“In a new move, scientists emphasised how cutting airborne levels of methane – a powerful but short-lived gas that has soared to record levels – could help curb short-term warming.
“Lots of methane the atmosphere comes from leaks of natural gas, a major power source. Livestock also produces large amounts of the gas, a good chunk of it in cattle burps.”
The Sharjah-based daily concluded by saying, “The target of ‘net zero’ human-caused carbon dioxide emissions may seem far-fetched under the moment given the propensity to violate environmental rules. Only time will tell.”

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