Weekly Weather Event -Week of February 28March 4, 2022
The newest IPCC Working Group 2 report was released on February 28th, detailing the impacts of climate change on environments and people around the world. The full report is massive, far more than could be covered in a single news article and should be read in depth for a full understanding. However, the main takeaways are a stark reminder of the consequences of a warming world and a changing climate, and these points will be shared here.
The Working Group 2 report finds that climate hazards have worsened significantly in the last decade. This ranges from stronger wildfires and heat waves to people being displaced by disasters and sickened from wildfire smoke. These dangers will only increase with additional warming, as irreversible damage is expected if warming exceeds 1.5 degrees Celsius. This includes an increased frequency of wildfires, tree die-offs, thawing permafrost, and mass extinction.
On the financial side of these compounding disasters, societies have not done enough to adapt and prepare for a changing climate. Fragmented efforts have not overall made supply chains and infrastructure more resilient, and large-scale projects will need to be implemented to safeguard human life. These costs will continue to increase as the world warms, and there may be limits to adaptation in especially vulnerable places such as polar and tropical regions. Additionally, developing countries and poorer individuals are more vulnerable to the costs and impacts of climate change.
Overall, the report states that large-scale and “transformational” projects and changes will be needed to prepare for the future under current warming projections. This will take cooperation on the international scale, and actions taken sooner will do more and prevent more harm than changes made further down the road.