A report was published in September 2013 by a group of some of the world's leading scientists that was quite possibly one of the most comprehensive reports on climate change that has ever been written. The findings are shocking and should be seen as a call to arms for governments worldwide.
The report was published and collected by a group calling themselves the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or the IPCC, a group consisting of 800 experts and scientists from around the globe and combining the research from over 9000 studies. The report is a few thousand pages long, but the whole of it doesn't need to be read for you to understand the gist of it.
Some of the main points highlighted by the report are:
• The group seem 95% certain that humans and the carbon emissions that we create are causing the world to heat up.
• These emissions are still on the rise and now quicker than ever.
• The report shows with a massive amount of certainty that climate change is real, that it is being caused by humans and requires immediate attention.
• The past 30 years have been the hottest since records began; effectively meaning that the planet is warming up and we are breaking new temperature records regularly.
• Sea levels are most definitely rising, the patterns of precipitation are changing, sea ice levels are getting lower and the world's oceans are becoming more acidic. Some parts of the globe will experience more frequent and intense floods, storms or droughts as well as other natural disasters are happening far more frequently than in previous years.
So what does this really mean? With all of the talk of climate change throughout the last decade, it is now evident that the issue is very much a real one and people and communities are being affected in the present day, here and now. That being said, the consequences could be far worse in the future without drastic action being taken as soon as possible. The focus needs to be now placed on attempting to get the message across to governments and to try and influence them into stepping up and forcing a change, not only in their mind-set, but in their practices.
Governments should work collaboratively to attempt to avert the worst consequences of climate change that may arise in the not too distant future. The most urgent actions that governments should take is to focus on reducing emissions and allocating funds for those communities which are already affected and suffering the most from the impacts of climate change.
Many charities have stepped up in their own way in support of the report and have been putting a lot of pressure on governments to try to get them to heed the findings and to take the necessary actions as soon as possible. Some of the world's poorest communities are the ones that will feel the effects most, which is why charities such as Oxfam and Christian Aid have put so much time and effort into supporting the cause of climate change aversion.