The central message of the latest IPCC report is stark and clear. Humanity must phase out fossil fuels by 2050 to avoid dangerous run-away climate change. The Synthesis Report reinforces what three previous reports released in the last year have already highlighted – the causes (physical science of climate change), the impacts on natural and human systems and the solutions to tackle climate change.
Six Graphs Tell the Climate Change Story
The following 6 graphs from the report illustrate how we have changed the world’s climate.
Graph 1. Change in surface temperature between 1901-2012. Our world has generally become hotter with only a few minor exceptions as shown by the blue sections. Warming is unequivocal and the human influence on climate is clear.
Graph 2. 13 of the 14 warmest years ever recorded occurred this century. The top panel shows annual mean values and the bottom panel shows the decadal mean values. Since the 1950s the observed changes are unprecedented. The period from 1983 to 2012 was likely the warmest 30 year period of the last 1,400 years.
Graph 3. It’s going to get much worse. Our planet has already warmed by 0.7C since the industrial revolution due to greenhouse gases. The map on the left assumes a significant cut in emissions whereas the map on right illustrates a business-as-usual pumping of CO2 emissions into the atmosphere.
Graph 4. “The rate of sea level rise since the mid-19th century has been larger than the mean rate during the previous two millennia”, indicates the Synthesis Report.
Graph 5. New research shows that the melting of Arctic ice is being linked to more severe weather patterns around the globe.
Graph 6. Why this is all happening. GHG emissions are now growing at twice the rate of the previous 30 years. Without concerted action on carbon, temperatures will increase over the coming decades and could be almost 5C above pre-industrial levels by the end of this century.
We’re the first generation to feel the impact of climate change and the last generation that can do something about it.” Jay Inslee
Rolly Montpellier is the Founder and Managing Editor of BoomerWarrior.Org. He’s a Climate Reality leader, a blogger and an Climate Activist. Rolly has been published in several online publications – Climate Change Guide, World Daily, Examiner, The Canadian, 350Ottawa, ClimateMama, MyEarth360, GreenDivas, The Elephant, Countercurrents, Georgian Bay News.