The IPCC Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) Working Group II contribution, “Climate Change: Impacts, Adaptation, Vulnerability,” published on 28 February 2022, highlights how we can adapt and build resilience against climate change threats and hazards.
The full report is a website browser freezing 3,600+ pages long, which assesses the latest knowledge about climate change impacts, adaptation, and vulnerabilities.
The first part of the AR6 report, Working Group I contribution, which came out on 9 August 2021, deals with the Physical Science Basis of climate change. The report unequivocally claims that human activities caused the climate crisis. It also covers human’s influence on the climate system, extreme weather, and the current and future state of our climate.
From 1990, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a series of Assessment Reports at five to seven-year intervals and Special Reports. These reports aim to advance humanity’s knowledge of humanity’s impact on the natural environment and inform the effects of climate change on the natural environment, economy, politics, and possible options for mitigation and adaptation.
You would probably ask, how is this latest report – the Working Group II contribution, different from the past reports, and what are the critical insights.
Williams (2022), in his article, “The IPCC Releases its 2022 Report on Climate Change, in Case you Needed Something Else to Worry About”, says that since the Fifth IPCC Assessment Report (AR5) was published in 2014, a wider range of impacts has taken place that is attributable to climate change. Essentially, new knowledge has been obtained that shows how certain ecological impacts are attributable to anthropogenic forces.
Among them include (Williams (2022):
- Plants and animals on land and in the ocean towards the poles, to higher altitudes, or the deeper ocean waters
- Changes in the timing of key biological events (breeding or flowering)
- An increase in the frequency and spread of diseases in wildlife, agriculture, and people
- A lengthening wildfire season and increases in the area burned
- Severe water shortages affecting roughly half the world’s population
- Increased drought conditions negatively affect agriculture and energy production
Key new insights from the IPCC AR6 WGII report
In a Carbon Brief interview, let us know what the researchers who contributed to the IPCC AR6 Working Group II report have to say (Scientists react, 2022).
Prof. Hans-Otto Poertner: “The science is unequivocal: any further delay will miss the brief window we have to secure a liveable and sustainable future for all.”
Dr. Aditi Mukherji: “Effectiveness of most adaptation responses decreases drastically at global warming levels of 1.5C to 2C, showing that mitigation and adaptation efforts have to go hand in hand.”
Prof. Lindsay Stringer: “Climate change doesn’t affect people and environments equally around the world; it’s often the poorest people who are least able to adapt.”
Dr. Marie-Fanny Racault: “These new findings emphasise the narrowing window of opportunity for adaptation and mitigation actions to take place.”
Prof. Maarten van Aalst: “For the first time, the IPCC notes that climate change is already contributing to humanitarian crises.”
Dr. Lisa Schipper: “The development of the concept of ‘climate-resilient development’ is the most exciting part of the report.”
Prof. Rachel Bezner Kerr: “The report indicates that involving marginalised and vulnerable groups in inclusive planning processes and drawing on Indigenous and local knowledge are other approaches that support effective adaptation.”
Prof. Richard Betts: “Our report contains a lot of bad news, but also offers encouragement and motivation to step up our responses to climate change.”
Prof. Rachel Warren: “The report finds that very high risks emerge in all reasons for concern over the range 1.2 to 4.5C global average warming.”
Dr. Carol Franco: “A major take home message from the report is the urgent need to take action in order to achieve a sustainable and climate-resilient future. We can’t wait, we can’t postpone it, the costs of inaction are too great, and we are not on track.”
Prof. Kristie Ebi: “The future is in our hands. The adaptation, mitigation, and development choices we make will determine all of our futures.”
Prof. David Viner: “We may not be able to stop the worst impacts of climate change and prevent the severe damage to key systems, but with adequate financing of adaptation and resilience, many systems and the most vulnerable can be afforded some protection.”
Dr. Ruth Morgan: “This report gives long-overdue recognition to the importance of Indigenous knowledge and local knowledge for more effective and culturally-appropriate climate adaptation.”
Dr. Martina Angela Caretta: “The linkages between climate change-induced water insecurity and migration and conflicts are, in a first, assessed in this report.”
Dr. Jeff Price: “[The report] includes, for the first time, specific analyses of risks to biodiversity hotspots and to the terrestrial biodiversity of small islands.
Williams, Matt. (2022, March 11). The IPCC Releases its 2022 Report on Climate Change, in Case you Needed Something Else to Worry About. Universe Today. https://www.universetoday.com/154744/the-ipcc-releases-its-2022-report-on-climate-change-in-case-you-needed-something-else-to-worry-about/
Scientists react: What are the key new insights from the IPCC’s WG2 report?. (2022, March 1). Carbon Brief. https://www.carbonbrief.org/scientists-react-what-are-the-key-new-insights-from-the-ipccs-wg2-report