IPCC releases new climate change report

Abigail McArthur-Self, Editor-in-Chief

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), an international collection of scientists dedicated to researching and reporting the state of the planet’s climate and the possible causes and solutions of issues present, released a new report in October of 2018.

The report largely focuses on the changes that the planet will see if the overall temperature rises by 2 degrees Celsius versus 1.5 degrees Celsius. An increase in temperature extremes, species extinction, sea level and severe weather events, such as hurricanes, is predicted at both temperatures.

However, according to the IPCC, mitigating the rise of global climate change by half a degree would limit the effects of climate change, would spare an estimated 10 million people from sea level based flooding, limit the rate of extinction for at-risk animal populations and minimize extreme weather events.

They believe that, through limiting carbon emissions, countries can help curb temperature rise within the 21st century to 1.5 degrees Celsius. At this time, however, there is no projection for halting it entirely.

The IPCC’s report is not focused on if there will be change — of that the scientists seem confident — but how much change the planet will see and how it can best be limited and adapted to.

According to Paul Vandersteen, an AP environmental science teacher at Neuqua, this report is in keeping with previous studies done on climate change.

He says the most important thing students can do is stay informed and vote. He believes students should “pay attention to what oil companies don’t want [them] to know,” because the companies have a financial interest in which laws about carbon emissions do and do not get passed.

The report is available to the public on the IPCC’s webpage along with press releases and a summary for policymakers, directed at the world’s political leaders.

As of yet, the United States has planned no change in response to this new study, which has so far been disregarded by President Donald Trump.

Experts outside of the panel have reviewed the report and seem to be in agreement with it. Eleven scientists unaffiliated with the report have given testimony in its favor to the Science Media Centre, an independent British organization of scientists.