The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) just put out a new and scary release on Sunday night, which detailed the impacts climate change has had and will continue to have on the world.
You can read the whole IPCC report online, but here are the five main takeaways:
When we talk about climate change we usually think about the future. But one of the most important points made in the new report is the idea that humanity’s effect on the climate is having devastating consequences RIGHT NOW.
“One of the most important findings is that we’re not in an era where climate change is a future hypothetical,” Christopher Field, the co-chair of the IPCC’s working group II paper said at a news conference from Yokohama, Japan, on Monday. ‘There’s no question that we live in a world already affected by climate change.”
These impacts of climate change are currently hurting communities and ecosystems all over the globe.
The report included this map of the current impacts of climate change on not just nature, but on human livelihoods, the economy, and in changing local weather systems:
The report broke down the risks for the different continents in simple charts. Here are the key risks to North America:
All of these changes will negatively impact our ability to grow food. This negative impact will grow greater as the climate continues to change.
Climate in the atmosphere doesn’t stay in the atmosphere. It is absorbed into the oceans where it increases the acidity, making life hard on the animals and plants there. That means we will be catching fewer fish:
All together, these changes will bring conflicts over food and water, and will result in mass migrations of people around the globe.
Humanity’s greatest problem is a scarcity of resources, like water and food. Climate change will make these already precious resources even more scarce, causing more conflict.
“Climate change has a tendency to act as a threat multiplier whatever the current range of stressors is,” said Chris Field, co-chair of the conference.”There are many things that make people vulnerable, and when you combine a climate shock with these factors, you can have bad outcomes.”
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