The impacts of human-caused climate change are arriving earlier than projected, with consequences ranging from damaging to devastating, a blockbuster IPCC report published this morning concludes. “I have seen many scientific reports in my time, but nothing like this,” UN Secretary General António Guterres said in a statement, describing the report as, “an atlas of human suffering and a damning indictment of failed climate leadership … The world’s biggest polluters are guilty of arson of our only home.”
The report highlights myriad ways in which climate change exposes existing injustices, hitting historically excluded communities the hardest, in the U.S. and abroad.
The world is not prepared for the impacts of climate change, and must take dramatic action over the next decade to adapt to a planet heated by the extraction and combustion of fossil fuels, while concurrently and immediately slashing climate pollution to stop warming at 1.5°C (2.7°F), a critical threshold beyond which it will become increasingly difficult-to-impossible to adapt to escalating impacts. (Washington Post $, AP, WFLA, Bloomberg $, NPR, Boston Globe $, CNN, Fast Company, The Guardian, NBC, New York Times $, Reuters, The Verge, USA Today, Wired, Yahoo, CNBC, MarketWatch, The Hill, ABC, Quartz, The Conversation, Axios; Global health: NBC; Key takeaways & explainers: (AP explainer, Reuters factbox, Bloomberg $, HuffPost, PBS NewsHour, Washington Post $, The Independent; Commentary: Washington Post, postcards from Earth’s climate futures $)