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Effects of Climate Change

One of the most direct effects of Climate Change is associated with the carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere and the increase in average global temperature. Scientists have high confidence that global temperatures will continue to rise for decades to come, mainly due to greenhouse gases produced by human activities. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which includes more than 1,300 scientists from the United States and other countries, forecasts a temperature rise of 2.5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit over the next century.

According to the IPCC, the extent of climate change effects on individual regions will vary over time and with the ability of different societal and environmental systems to mitigate or adapt to change.

The IPCC predicts that increases in global mean temperature of less than 1.8 to 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit (1 to 3 degrees Celsius) above 1990 levels will produce beneficial impacts in some regions and harmful ones in others. Net annual costs to mitigate the direct effects of climate change will increase over time as global temperatures rise.

More frequent and intense droughts, storms, heat waves, rising sea levels, melting glaciers, and warming oceans can directly harm animals, destroy the places they live, and wreak havoc on people’s livelihoods and communities.

In order to limit the impact of global climate change on livelihoods, there is a direct and inevitable need to cut down emissions. To be in line with the Paris Agreement and Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) requirements to keep global temperature rise well below 2 degrees Celsius and pursue limiting the increase at 1.5 degrees Celsius, most advanced economies around the globe have embraced ambitious low-carbon transition targets. The International Energy Agency’s latest report highlights that after 3 years of stagnation, global energy-related greenhouse gas emissions from fuel combustion started rising again and reached their historical peak level in 2018 due to vigorous economic growth and a slowdown in renewable diffusion, accounting for two-thirds of GHG emissions and more than 80% of carbon dioxide emissions. Among different types of fossil fuels, coal remains a major greenhouse-gas-intensive pollutant and accounts for around 40% of all energy related emissions. Considering the severity of greenhouse gas emissions caused as the result of coal combustion, there is an urge for immediate action to phase-out unabated coal from numerous energy-related sources.

Throughout the last two centuries, economic, technological, and political drives around the globe nudged for several major energy transitions, resulting in a shift from one type of fuel to another to fire the engines faster and more efficiently to keep up with the growing demand for energy. Nowadays, there is an urge to switch from carbon-emitting sources of energy to non-emitting alternatives, primarily due to environmental factors.

Sources:

Climate change 2022: Impacts, adaptation and vulnerability. IPCC. (n.d.). Retrieved May 6, 2022, from https://www.ipcc.ch/report/sixth-assessment-report-working-group-ii/

IPCC . (2022). Global warming of 1.5 ºc. Retrieved May 6, 2022, from https://www.ipcc.ch/sr15/

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