Reading New Climate Report
Recently, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), released the second part of its sixth assessment report.
This second part of the report is about climate change impacts, risks and vulnerabilities, and adaptation options.
•The first part of this report, on the physical science of climate change in 2021. It had warned that 1.5 degree Celsius warming was likely to be achieved before 2040 itself.
•For the first time, this report made an assessment of regional and sectoral impacts of climate change.
•It has included risks to, and vulnerabilities of, mega-cities around the world. For example, it has said Mumbai is at high risk of sea-level rise and flooding, while Ahmedabad faces serious danger of heat-waves. Such granular information was not available in previous assessment reports.
•Also, for the first time, the IPCC report has looked at the health impacts of climate change.
- Over 3.5 billion people, over 45% of the global population, were living in areas highly vulnerable to climate change.
- It has found that climate change is increasing vector-borne and water-borne diseases such as malaria or dengue, particularly in sub-tropical regions of Asia.
- It has also said deaths related to circulatory, respiratory, diabetic and infectious diseases, as well as infant mortality, are likely to increase with a rise in temperature.
- Global sea levels will likely rise 44-76 cm this century if governments meet their current emission-cutting pledges.
- The report identifies India as one of the vulnerable hotspots, with several regions and important cities facing very high risk of climate disasters such as flooding, sea-level rise and heat-waves.
- Infrastructure, including transportation, water, and sanitation and energy systems has been compromised by extreme and slow-onset events, with resulting economic losses, disruptions of services and impacts to well- being.
- Urban India is at greater risk than other areas with a projected population of 877 million by 2050, nearly double of 480 million in 2020.
- At present, wet-bulb temperatures in India rarely exceed 31 degrees C, with most of the country experiencing maximum wet-bulb temperatures of 25-30 degrees C, according to IPCC.
- The gap in adaptation was a result of lack of funds and political commitment, and also the absence of reliable information and a sense of urgency.
- There are “feasible and effective” adaptation options which could reduce the risks to people and nature.
- Strong actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the near term, in the next 20 years, would substantially reduce the threats, and the projected damages, if not eliminate them all.
- These reports also form the basis for international climate change negotiations that decide on the responses at the global level.
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