Climate Change experts and others share views on newly released IPCC Climate Change report

On the 9th of August, the IPCC released the AR6 Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis report. The report addresses the most up-to-date physical understanding of the climate system and climate change, bringing together the latest advances in climate science, and combining multiple lines of evidence from paleoclimate, observations, process understanding, and global and regional climate simulations.

The new report looks at the current state of the climate and emphasizes that it is ‘unequivocal’ that human influence has warmed the planet with widespread changes in the atmosphere, ocean, cryosphere and biosphere. The report state that the scale of recent changes across the climate system at present and the state of many aspects of the climate system are unprecedented over many centuries to thousands of years. There is now evidence of changes in extremes such as heatwaves, heavy precipitation, droughts and tropical cyclones.

Another highlight of the report relates to the climate futures with a set of five new emission scenarios to drive climate model projections of changes in the climate system. Based on the scenarios, it is predicted that future emissions will cause future additional warming. The earth’s average global temperature will continue to increase until at least by mid-century under all emissions scenarios considered. Global warming of 1.5°C and 2°C will be exceeded during the 21st century unless deep reductions in Carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions occur in the coming decades.

The report provides data for risk assessment and regional adaptation. The information looks at how the climate system responds to the interplay between human influence, natural drivers and internal variability. Knowledge of the climate responses and the range of possible outcomes, including low-likelihood, high impact outcomes, informs climate services – the assessment of climate-related risks and adaptation planning. Physical climate information at global, regional and local scales is developed from multiple lines of evidence, including observational products, climate model outputs and tailored diagnostics. The report provides scenarios on how to limit climate change in the future.

Climate change experts and others share their views about the new IPCC report. Commenting on the report, former Ambassador Ronny Jumeau said:

“The IPCC AR6 report states unequivocally, and the science has never been clearer, that countries’ current NDCs or climate pledges put the world on course to a climate catastrophe which can only be avoided by drastically stepping up climate action and ambition now. Small Island Developing States have never lacked the political will to do what is necessary despite being the least responsible for and the most impacted by climate change. However, the world cannot do what needs to be done without adequate funding for mitigation, adaptation and loss and damage as well.”

The newly appointed Technical Advisor from the Climate Change Department Mr. Wills Agricole highlighted

“The IPCC report is a comprehensive assessment of the physical science underpinning past, present and future climate change and its implication to COP26.”

Sharing his thoughts on the challenges of the climate crisis, Climate Change Negotiator George Uzice remarked:

“The recent IPCC report is another wake up call for the world and we no longer have the luxury to push the snooze button. The science is clear. More efforts are needed to avoid extreme weather scenarios to which Small Island Developing States are already at the receiving end. This report will cast a shadow over COP26 in Glasgow where delegates intend to meet and raise their ambition to fight climate change, as well as concluding the remaining Paris Rulebook. When the dust settles and the negotiations are over, one question will linger, ‘which climate pathway are we heading on?”

Chief Executive Officer for SeyCCAT, Angelique Pouponneau provides her views on the science of the climate crisis stating:

“Every year or so, a report is issued telling us how horrifying the global climate emergency is, from losing our coral reefs that sustain biodiversity and livelihoods to disappearing islands, and after every report, we see a flurry of tweets and Facebook posts, and occasionally a discussion in national parliaments and a few weeks later we are all back to business as usual. Much of the report is information we know; and we knew it was going to get worse as the report confirms. We need effective and sustained action to combat climate change that responds to the findings of the report. Seychelles certainly cannot do it alone; it does have to be a global effort with diplomacy playing a critical role to make that happen.”

Providing his views as a member of the public, Mr. Jeremy Raguain said:

“The science in the IPCC’s latest report doesn’t stutter when it says that humans have warmed the atmosphere, ocean and land. With more evidence and greater certainty made possible by rigorous methodology and dedicated scientists it tells us that climate change is already hurting us, that humanity is exceeding planetary boundaries and that we have less time to save ourselves. However, as terrible as that all sounds it could have been worse news. The IPCC AR6 still gives us hope in saying that we have the ability to the right thing in reducing our pollution. This latest report is not a death sentence, it’s a grave warning and must be part of an overdue tipping point for global climate action. For Seychelles we need the most responsible states to reduce their emissions and help us adapt to a crisis we are barely responsible for.”

Adding on, Miss Victoria Allis stated:

“IPCC’s Sixth Assessment report encapsulates all the evidence confirming that human activities have raised the global surface temperature, warming our atmosphere, ocean and land. I hope that policymakers and all other stakeholders will use this report as an atlas to not only better inform and develop appropriate climate policies, but to also enforce implementation strategies and climate action at a local, regional and international level. Limiting global warming to 1.5C compared to pre-industrial levels will only be possible if there are large-scale and rapid reductions of climate-change causing greenhouse gas emissions.”

As a concerned citizen of Seychelles, Miss Meggie Lalande stated:

“The science has never been any clearer. The report sums up everything and confirms that the earth is getting warmer with the extra greenhouse gases being in the atmosphere. I hope that the climate change leaders understand that without an accelerated reduction in greenhouse gases during the next decade or so, it will be impossible to reach the 1.5 degree target of the Paris Agreement. A lot of times insurance companies are neglected when it comes to climate change. Climate change affects insurers through the risks they accept from clients. Climate change causes increasing intensity and spreading distribution of extreme weather events and this leads to the resultant risk of catastrophic property claims. The most obvious impact of climate change in the insurance sector will be the increase in insured property losses from extreme weather events which is expected to increase in the future. We need to act now to address climate change or else we will see more frequent disasters. We need to understand how insurance can encourage investments for climate resilience.”

From a physical science perspective, limiting human-induced global warming to a specific level requires limiting cumulative Carbon dioxide emissions, reaching at least net zero CO2 emissions, along with strong reductions in other greenhouse gas emissions.