The latest IPCC report is out, and the news is not happy.
The chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Rajendra Pachauri, called the report the “strongest, most robust and most comprehensive” to come out of the IPCC, which has been tracking climate change since 1988. It is “yet another wake-up call to the global community that we must act together swiftly and aggressively,” the White House said in a statement.
The report’s language is stronger than in years past: Warming is “unequivocal,” and the changes we’re seeing are pervasive, it states clearly. We must take action quickly to cut our dependence on fossil fuels, it warns. If we don’t, we’ll face “further warming and long-lasting changes in all components of the climate system, increasing the likelihood of severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems.”
As we explained last week, you may be experiencing déjà vu — that’s because there have been three IPCC reports released since September 2013. Today’s is the final installment in this cycle of reports; called the synthesis report, it’s intended to summarize and clarify the three that came before. All the parts together form the complete Fifth Assessment Report, or AR5, a comprehensive look at climate change of the sort that hasn’t been released since 2007.
Everyone involved hopes the research summarized within will guide political leaders and U.N. negotiators as they try, over the next year, to cut an emissions-reducing deal and save us all.
Though this report is breezy by IPCC standards, coming in at a mere 116 pages witha 40-page summary for policymakers, we boiled it down a bit more. Here, with some charts, are 10 key things to take away — many of them familiar from the IPCC installments that have come out over the past 13 months.