Exeter researchers comment on IPCC report
Researchers from the University of Exeter and the Met Office have commented on the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
The Synthesis Report is a summary of the latest (sixth) round of IPCC assessments of climate change, its impacts and the solutions available.
The IPCC says global warming has created “increasingly dangerous impacts on nature and people in every region of the world” – but “urgent climate action can secure a liveable future for all”.
Responding to the report, Professor Pierre Friedlingstein, who leads the Global Carbon Budget, said: “The IPCC AR6 synthesis report perfectly summarises current and future climate change and associated impacts and the absolute necessity to reduce greenhouse gases emissions immediately to limit further warming.
“At current level of CO2 emissions, the 1.5°C target would be breached in the coming decade.
“To me, the one single sentence from the report that says it all is the following: ‘The choices and actions implemented in this decade will have impacts now and for thousands of years’.”
Dr Anna Harper said: “This synthesis report reiterates the point the we need deep, rapid, and sustained emissions reductions to keep climate change below dangerous levels – that means emissions need to reduce by a lot starting immediately and in a way that’s sustainable.
“But there is good news in the report too – there are opportunities to reduce the impacts of climate change for people and nature, and many of these actions can help make the world a better place beyond just affecting climate.
“The report doesn’t really include anything Earth-shattering, it summarises years of research from thousands of scientists from around the world.
“We know the challenge before us with limiting climate change, and we understand many of the impacts of the changes that are already happening, so now what is left is to take action.
“The report provides the scientific foundation for our next steps.”
Professor Patrick Devine-Wright said: “As recognised by the ACCESS project, the social sciences have a crucial role to play in informing the design of climate resilient development pathways.
“This IPCC Synthesis report makes clear the need for actors to work in equitable, just and inclusive ways to reconcile divergent interests, values and worldviews, toward equitable and just outcomes.
“It also clearly recognises the need to draw on diverse knowledges and cultural values, meaningful participation and inclusive engagement processes—including Indigenous Knowledge, local knowledge, and scientific knowledge—to facilitate climate resilient development, build capacity and allow locally appropriate and socially acceptable solutions.”
Dr Chris Jones, of the Met Office Hadley Centre, was one of the core writing team of lead authors from across the IPCC process.
“We know that the climate is changing now and affecting everyone, everywhere,” said Dr Jones, who is on the Global Carbon Budget’s science steering committee.
“Adverse impacts are increasing in all parts of the world. We know this will continue, but we have many options to help address it.
“Sadly, the world has not acted quickly enough. We have had enough knowledge to drive action for many years – this report really stresses the urgency of acting now.”
Dr Jones added: “By the time of the next IPCC report, we will likely have used up most of our remaining carbon budget to stay within 1.5°C.”