HomeEarthThree decades ago, world told to act now on climate

Three decades ago, world told to act now on climate

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Our planet is facing the “potentially serious consequences” of global warming. UN experts urged to take immediate action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Planet-warming carbon pollution has increased more than ever.

The first IPCC report was published 30 years ago

In 1990, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change produced the first trio of reports of climate change assessments. One on the physical science of warming, one on the impacts and one on solutions. This has repeated roughly every six years.

The authors of the most recent IPCC report on impacts can say the evidence of harm to humanity and the entire planet is “unequivocal”. The authors of those first reports could not be as forthright.

But they were clear that the risks were high.

The potentially serious consequences of climate change on the global environment give sufficient reasons to begin by adopting response strategies. These strategies can be justified immediately even in the face of such significant uncertainties.

Cuts to the planet-warming gases that humans are pumping into the atmosphere will be swift and drastic.

Because climate change could potentially result in significant impacts on the global environment and human activities. It is important to begin considering now what measures might be taken in response.

The scientists writing the 1990 report underscored the need to reduce emissions of different gases. Our understanding has been refined over 40 years. But the alarm has been ringing since the first IPCC report.

The description of risks in the IPCC reports has become ever clearer and more urgent, with each new cycle of climate evaluation. The forecasts have become increasingly catastrophic.

Emissions have risen almost every year. Only breaking their relentless pace because of major economic crises. As a result, CO2 in the atmosphere has never been higher.

C02 concentrations reached 416 parts per million in 2021. It is up from 354 ppm in 1990 when the first IPCC report was published. Earth has experienced periods of much higher CO2 concentrations in the distant past.

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