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IPCC to release a major report on climate crisis today

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New Delhi, Feb 28 (IANS) The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a United Nations body solely dedicated to looking at the science behind climate change, is set to release a major report on the impacts of the climate crisis and why it is imperative that we act now to address the growing risks later on Monday evening.

The report, which is to focus on ‘Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability’ is expected to detail how climate impacts are already wreaking havoc in every part of the world and how, without much bolder action, more lives would be lost, and more livelihoods destroyed. The report will look at challenges and solutions for addressing these risks and minimising vulnerability unique to the world’s regions, cities and other habitats.

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The report’s Summary for Policymakers (around 40 pages), draws information and data from the latest research led by some of the top minds in the fields of natural, social and economic sciences. More than 270 scientists from 67 countries have contributed to the report, which is part of a series produced every six to seven years.

The current series of reports, formally referred to as the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment (AR6) Cycle, is the first since the adoption of the Paris Agreement on climate change in 2015 — a global framework for climate policies, solutions and actions. Starting February 14, the marathon two-week session saw these scientists via a virtual meeting consider the Working Group II contribution to the AR6.

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This report, a second installment of the AR6, integrates more strongly natural, social and economic sciences, highlighting the role of social justice and diverse forms of knowledge such as indigenous and local knowledge.

Explaining the importance of the report, IPCC Working Group II Co-Chair Debra Roberts said: “Science is an important form of knowledge for our society and our civilization, and the IPCC process provides us with a way of ensuring that science works with the government to transfer that knowledge into a place where we can use it in our day-to-day decision making.”

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She called the report a “very long co-production process where the policy environment and the scientific environment come together to work and decide on what the key questions are, the sort of knowledge that we need to access to answer those questions and to put it in a format in our day-to-day decision making.”

Earlier, in August 2021, the IPCC had released the report of the Working Group I while the Working Group III will be brought out in April this year, followed by the Synthesis Report further in September 2022.

At the opening of the 55th Session of the IPCC, the chair of the Panel Hoesung Lee called the Sixth Assessment Cycle “the most ambitious one in IPCC history,” simply because “the stakes have never been higher.”

Why? According to the first report in the series, the Physical Science Basis which lays out the state of our climate, the scale of recent changes across the climate system as a whole has been unprecedented over many centuries to many thousands of years.

Today, the world is not on track to avoid extreme climate change. Global warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius and 2 degrees Celsius will be exceeded during the 21st century unless deep reductions in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions occur during this decade, the scientists have warned.

–IANS

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