Human-induced climate change is already causing extremes in weather and climate in every region across the globe.
Scientists are also observing changes across the whole of Earth’s climate system; in the atmosphere, in the oceans, in ice floes, and also on land.
Many of these changes are in motion now, while some – such as continued sea level rise – are already ‘irreversible’ for hundreds to thousands of years, the report warns.
IPCC experts also say there is still time to help limit the damage. Strong and sustained reductions in emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases could rapidly make air quality better, and potentially in 20 to 30 years global temperatures could stabilise.
Responding to the report, David Smith, Chief Executive at Energy Networks Association, which represents the UK and Ireland’s energy networks businesses, said: “The UK’s energy networks are some of the greenest and smartest in the world, but we need monumental action and collaboration across all industries to deliver Net Zero. This warning is stark. Action must be taken now to address the climate emergency. We urge the government to push forward in publishing the long-awaited Net Zero, Hydrogen, and Heat and Buildings Strategies.”