A new report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) paints a sadly familiar picture: Human-caused climate change is driving longer heat waves, more intense rainfall, reduced crop yields, and other negative events around the world, and additional warming is unavoidable in the next 20 to 30 years due to historical emissions and those that will be generated in the coming decade. But all is not lost. Humankind can still influence the future severity and extent of climate change impacts on people and ecosystems, and with smart government policy and society-wide action, we could greatly diminish the risk of passing global tipping points that could alter Earth’s future irrevocably. The “Climate Change 2023: Synthesis Report” summarizes results from the collaboration of more than 800 experts from more than 80 countries. They reviewed more than 50,000 published research papers and integrated more than 12,000 pages of technical reports published by the IPCC between 2018 and 2022 to describe the current state of climate science in nontechnical language. The report answers a broad range of policy-relevant questions for governments, highlighting the costs and benefits of—and opportunities for—taking climate action, and the risks of delaying it.
By Jim Palardy & Megan Jungwiwattanaporn. The Pew Charitable Trusts. March 21, 2023.
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