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Crop Biotech Update

IPCC Report: Climate Change Widespread, Rapid, and Intensifying

August 11, 2021

The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report, released on August 9, 2021, reveals that many of the changes observed in the climate are unprecedented in thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of years, and some of the changes already set in motion—such as continued sea level rise—are irreversible over hundreds to thousands of years.

The Working Group I report, Climate Change 2021: the Physical Science Basis, is the first installment of the IPCC's Sixth Assessment Report (AR6), approved by 195 member governments of the IPCC, through a virtual approval session that was held over two weeks starting on July 26, 2021. It shows that emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are responsible for approximately 1.1°C of warming since 1850-1900, and finds that averaged over the next 20 years, global temperature is expected to reach or exceed 1.5°C of warming.

The report also states that in the coming decades, climate change will increase in all regions. For 1.5°C of global warming, there will be increasing heat waves, longer warm seasons, and shorter cold seasons. At 2°C of global warming, heat extremes would more often reach critical tolerance thresholds for agriculture and health, the report shows. Climate change is not just about temperature, as it will also bring multiple different changes in different regions, including changes to wetness and dryness, to winds, snow and ice, coastal areas, and oceans.

Climate change is intensifying the water cycle and affecting rainfall patterns, while further warming will amplify permafrost thawing. Sea levels will rise, oceans will warm, and cities will experience more heat and flooding.

For more details, read the press release from the IPCC.

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