Eight years after its most recent report, Working Group I of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is releasing today a new comprehensive synopsis reaffirming the magnitude of current and future climate change. Authored by approximately 230 scientists, approved by the governments of 195 countries and comprising over 14,000 references, the document emphasizes that the upheavals of the current climate system are unprecedented, that climate change (including climate extremes) is accelerating around the globe, and that the repercussions of human activity are unequivocal.
This report is all the more important in a context where many regions of Quebec have been forced to manage the social and economic consequences of exceptional climate conditions for the past 20+ years. In fact, this was clearly visible over the past year with its numerous extreme weather events (heat waves, record temperatures, forest fires) that are having a direct impact on economic activity, public health and safety, ecosystem balance and infrastructure.
The report points out that, despite the efforts being made to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to stabilize and limit climate change, it will take 20 to 30 years before the benefits can be observed. Even under the most optimistic scenarios, temperatures are set to rise through at least 2050. It is therefore inevitable that the impacts of climate change will continue to grow worse. “Quebec must ensure that it reduces its GHG emissions in order to avert major long-term climate disaster, in addition to implementing adaptation solutions to learn to cope with the new climate reality,” points out Ouranos Executive Director Alain Bourque.
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