IPCC Working Group II Report.
The latest Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) report was released on the 28th of February 2022. The IPCC is an intergovernmental panel of the members of the United Nations. They conduct scientific assessments that explain the current and future risks posed by climate change. The most recent report outlined the immediate and long-term impacts of climate change on our ecosystems, biodiversity, and human communities.
- The report outlines that around 3.3 – 3.6 billion people are highly vulnerable to climate change. Continents like Africa, Asia, Central and Southern America face greater risks due to existing vulnerabilities in food and health systems.
- Global warming of 1.5C will lead to an unavoidable increase in some climate hazards.
- The extent of climate change and the adverse effect on humans and ecosystems depends greatly on the immediate implementation of mitigation and adaptation measures.
- The report also observed that the risks posed by extreme weather events are heightening in complexity, making them much more difficult to manage.
Implications for Europe
- Based on a 1.5C scenario, the risk of mortality from climate events like drought and heatwaves will increase two to threefold at a 3C scenario.
- The risk of water scarcity will double under a 3C scenario, when compared to a 2C one. In Europe, this will have negative effects on mainly the Western Central and Southern regions.
- The risk of flooding and sea level rise will double under a 3C scenario. Additionally, current adaptation and mitigation measures will lead to a tenfold increase in coastal flood damage by the end of the century. This poses huge threats to the resilience of Irish coastal regions and cities like Waterford, Limerick, Galway, Cork, and Dublin.
Risk to the Built Environment
- The IPCC report acknowledges that people, infrastructure, and buildings in coastal cities are already experiencing the adverse effects of sea-level rise and climate variability.
- The IPCC recommends the continued introduction of policies that incentivize low-carbon technologies in high-emitting sectors like buildings and energy.
- The IPCC also recommends the continued investment in the heat resistance of the built environment, to reduce the negative effects of prolonged warm periods and higher temperatures.
Figure 1 highlights the number of days above 35C under a 1.5C and 3C scenario.
Figure 2 highlights the increase in maximum one-day precipitation under a 1.5C and 3C scenario
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