For sustainable society


What is the IPCC in the global warming news?

● The worst heat, from 2015 to 2018.

In the past few years, when we express the weather, we often hear the words “for the first time since we started collecting data in 2000,” or “record-breaking”. There was a heavy rain in western Japan last year and it caused the worst human damage in Heisei.

This year, renowned weather organizations such as the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have successively announced that for 4 years from 2018 to 2015, they were ranked as the top 4 hottest years on record. What will happen if the temperature continues to rise like this?

The United Nations “Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change”, or IPCC, evaluates and disseminates information on climate. This time, I would like to see what the IPCC is for us.

Is the IPCC report the opinion of all researchers around the world?

The IPCC was established in 1988 by the WMO and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to scientifically assess and report on human-caused climate change, its impacts, and how to mitigate them. As the name suggests, it is an intergovernmental organization with 195 countries participating.

The IPCC released its first assessment report in 1988. Since then, we have released new reports every six years. The biggest feature of the IPCC report is that hundreds of researchers from around the world checked the content of the report and agreed on it. In addition, the reports are reviewed by governments and used as basic data for international negotiations and policy making.

However, the IPCC is not conducting any new research, and its main objective is to “Evaluation” the latest findings being published, namely new research, and analyze the current situation. The current 5th Assessment Report refers to tens of thousands of papers and has received more than 140,000 comments from researchers and governments around the world on the draft report under review. More than 800 researchers from 80 countries have reviewed these documents one by one and have completed the formidable task of circulating them again. So, the report was created in this way, so it could be called the “consensus” of the world to the current climate situation.

●Is it clear that climate change is caused by humans?

So what does the latest report say?

— Human impacts on the climate system are increasing in a visible way, and have been observed on all continents. If climate change is left unaddressed, serious, widespread and irreversible impacts on humans and ecosystems are likely. However, options for adapting to climate change remain, and stringent mitigation actions can limit the impacts of climate change to a manageable level and create a brighter, more sustainable future. — — —

The United Nations summarized the points in these press releases in line with the release of the IPCC report. They say there are immediate risks, but they can be avoided by dealing with them properly.

The 5th Assessment Report concluded that “there is no doubt that the climate system is warming” but clearly pointed out that human activities, such as emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, are the main causes of global warming. It warns that if the temperature rises above 4 degrees, “High temperatures and humidity that endanger the extinction of many species, significant risks to global and regional food security and normal human activities (Omitted)” and (Original Text Mama) may occur, which is quite a strong expression. The report has a great impact, so it is unusual to go so far in expressing it, and that is why there is a strong sense of crisis.

For example, in low-lying areas, small island states, and developing countries, high tides and sea level rise could cause health effects and economic damage. Abnormal weather also causes serious damage to developed countries. The situation in Japan is clear.

To avoid these risks, the report says temperatures need to rise no more than 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels. To achieve this, between 2070 and 2010, CO2 emissions from the energy supply sector need to be reduced by more than 90% from the 2040 level, and eventually to 0.

This is not easy, but IPCC Chair Rajendra Pachauri (at that time) said:.

(From the UN press release) “There are many solutions that enable economic and human development to continue. All we need is a will for change. We believe that knowledge and understanding of the science of climate change will enhance the will for change”

●Impact of the 1.5 degree special report

Last October, the IPCC released its “1.5 degree special report”. The report shocked the world by predicting that even if individual countries achieve the targets set in the Paris agreement, they will rise by about three degrees.

It was also shown that if the average temperature rise could be held to 0.5 degrees Celsius, 1.5 degrees lower than the 2 degrees Celsius target set by the Paris Agreement, the impact on society would be greatly different. For example, coral reefs are expected to decrease by 70 ~ 90% if they rise by 1.5 degrees, but die if they rise by 2 degrees.

Even 2 degrees is difficult, but how much CO2 should be reduced to keep the temperature rise to 1.5 degrees? The report states that CO2 emissions need to be reduced by 45% between 2010 and 2030 to 0 in 2050. If we can achieve this goal, it will bring great benefits to both the global environment and humans, but I must say that the road ahead will be difficult.

On February 19, the Australian government officially declared the rodent “Blambourkee Melomis”, a mouse-like creature that lived on the Great Barrier Reef, dead. It is thought to be the first mammal to become extinct due to climate change caused by human activities (AFP on February 19, 2019). When you hear Mammalia, not insects, you will surely do it. The cause of the death is believed to be that the habitat of Blambourkee Melomis is increasingly flooded by rising sea levels.

Not only abnormal weather, the effect may be spreading gradually. Countermeasures are a global issue. The IPCC assessment report serves as an alarm for this purpose.

Japan’s greenhouse gas emissions increased by 2.7% from 2016 to 1990, despite the economic slowdown that followed the collapse of the bubble economy.

It can be said that both companies and individuals are being asked what they will do as members of the international community while utilizing scientific data in their policies.