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Op-Ed: My Reaction to the 2021 IPCC Report

Updated: Nov 21, 2022

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's 2021 report came out last Monday and I wanted to share my thoughts on it with you (I read the report the day it came out). Firstly, there is nothing unexpected in this paper. The report as a whole is more urgent than that of previous years and all of the stats have gotten a little worse, but that is as expected. That being said, some of these stats were still shocking, like how CO2 concentration is the highest it has been in at least 2 million years, and that sea levels are rising at the fastest rate in at least 3000 years.

My favorite part of the report was that it started with “It is unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, ocean and land. Widespread and rapid changes in the atmosphere, ocean, cryosphere and biosphere have occurred.” It is important to use words like unequivocal in this report because it washes away any doubt. If the world’s top scientists are saying that it is absolutely certain that climate change is human-caused, there is no way to argue the opposite without making stuff up. It is also fantastic that they said that climate change is already happening because it stresses the importance of the situation.

Part B of the report looked to the future and had five projections for possible climate outcomes. All of the different charts, graphs, and data points showed that we need to start cutting back fossil fuels immediately if we want to avoid climate change. There is no other option.

While it isn’t absolutely necessary, I recommend that everyone at least skims the report or watches the press conference about it. It is important to know just how dire this situation is.

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