Latest World News

What is in the report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change


A rapidly rising sea level, up to 2.8 degrees more by 2100: the future scenarios in the final report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are dramatic. The demands accordingly urgent. The most important findings from the paper.

In its final report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change urgently warned of the consequences of climate change. According to this, the oceans could rise by up to one meter by the turn of the century, and the earth could warm up faster and more intensely than previously thought. According to the scientists, the reason for this is the extreme increase in CO2 emissions, especially in the past few decades. The consequences are dramatic for billions of people – especially in the Global South, which emits the least greenhouse gases. What conclusions the scientists have come to – an overview.

Up to 2.8 degrees warming by 2100

According to the report, in the period from 2011 to 2020, temperatures on Earth were an average of 1.1 degrees Celsius higher than in the pre-industrial period (1850-1900). On land it is even around 1.6 degrees, over the oceans 0.9. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, if CO2 emissions are not immediately and drastically reduced, the 1.5 degrees actually targeted for the end of the century could be exceeded at least temporarily in the 2030s.

Some models paint an even more dramatic picture: Global warming could reach 2.8 degrees by the end of the 21st century if countries do not intensify their promised efforts to combat climate change after 2030.

The sea level is rising rapidly

The scientists also see dramatic consequences for the oceans as a result of the emission of climate-damaging greenhouse gases over the past 150 years: in 2018, the global sea level was on average 20 centimeters higher than in 1901. In recent years, the rise has even accelerated: by 1971 it was in 1.3 millimeters per year, but from 2006 to 2018 it was 3.7 millimeters per year.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change considers it not improbable that the sea level could rise by up to half a meter or, in extreme cases, even by a meter by the year 2100 compared to the period from 1995 to 2014, depending on the development of CO2 emissions.

CO2 budget is almost used up

By emitting carbon dioxide, humans are heating up climate change. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, in 2019 it was around twelve percent more than in 2010 and 54 percent more than in 1990. Of the total amount of emissions between 1850 and 2019, 42 percent were emitted between 1990 and 2019. If annual CO2 emissions remain at the same level as in 2019 by 2030, the budget for limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees would be almost exhausted, the scientists say.

According to the report, households in economically strong countries in particular contribute to global consumption-related greenhouse gas emissions. The tenth of the households with the highest per capita emissions are responsible for up to 45 percent emissions. In contrast, the half with the lowest emissions only contributes a maximum of 15 percent. The least developed countries and small island states have much lower per capita emissions than the global average – but are most affected by climate change.

Up to 3.6 billion people at particular risk

According to the report, dangers caused by climate change will increase in all regions of the world in the near future. For example, there was a risk of flooding in cities near the coast, more heat-related deaths and a loss of biodiversity. The experts also write that the risks are greater than assumed a few years ago.

Around the world, up to 3.6 billion people live in areas that are severely endangered by climate change – especially in Africa, Asia, Central and South America, on small islands and in the Arctic. Floods, droughts, food crises and water shortages affect people in the least economically developed countries, indigenous peoples, small food producers and low-income households in particular.

Higher mortality and more diseases

The increase in extreme weather events leads to higher mortality and disease. From 2010 to 2020, mortality from floods, droughts and storms was 15 times higher in high-risk areas than in very low-risk areas.

In addition to diseases that arise from a lack of food and water, there are psychological problems and trauma due to rising temperatures, extreme events or the loss of livelihoods and culture. This also means that people have to leave their homes. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assumes that risks, losses and damage increase with every warming step, become more complex and more difficult to manage.

Green technologies are becoming cheaper

In view of the devastating effects of climate change, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is calling on the international community to curb CO2 emissions. According to the scientists, projects to curb climate change are becoming increasingly cheaper.

From 2010 to 2019, the cost per unit of solar power fell by 85 percent, wind power by 55 percent, and lithium-ion batteries by 85 percent. During this period, the use of solar energy has increased tenfold and the number of electric vehicles more than 100-fold. The aim must be to become CO2-neutral as quickly as possible. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, decisions and measures would have to be taken in this decade that would have an impact for thousands of years.