New IPCC report key for India, say experts
The highly-anticipated report will assess climate adaptation and the impacts of climate change, looking at ecosystems, biodiversity, and human communities at global and regional levels.
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that is to be released on February 28 will be important for India, experts said, because it focuses on vulnerability and adaptation to climate crisis.
The highly-anticipated report will assess climate adaptation and the impacts of climate change, looking at ecosystems, biodiversity, and human communities at global and regional levels. The report will also review vulnerabilities and the capacities and limits of the natural world and humans to adapt to the climate crisis, according to the UN Foundation.
Nine Indians have contributed to various chapters on tropical forests; biodiversity hotspots; water; mountains; poverty and livelihoods; and climate crisis impacts on Asia . The report has 330 authors from across the world. The United Nations Foundation will host a briefing by the Co-Chairs of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) upcoming Working Group II report, Hans-Otto Pörtner and Debra Roberts on Thursday.
The technical summary of the report will include a climate risk framework encompassing hazard, exposure, and vulnerabilities of various regions--their spatial distribution, cascading impacts, disaster risk reduction, and risk uncertainties. The summary will also include significance of adaptation in addressing climate change risks, including diverse adaptation responses, technologies like nature and ecosystem-based adaptation; detection and attribution of climate change impacts and methods to evaluate the effectiveness of adaptation responses; dynamic climate risks from scenarios that reflect multiple interacting drivers; scientific, technical and socioeconomic aspects of current and future residual impacts of climate change, including residual damage, irreversible loss, and economic and non-economic losses caused by slow onset and extreme events, a note by IPCC stated.
Also Read | What India's move to cleaner gases means for global climate action plan
“Every IPCC report has a very specific purpose. This report will include the points of departure from IPCC’s previous findings and a very comprehensive overview of many other issues such as health of ecosystems; oceans; water; food; climate resilient development pathways; risks associated with climate change impacts. The report is not policy prescriptive but will only inform policy makers on the state of these things,” said Gautam Hirak Talukdar, scientist at Wildlife Institute of India who is also a lead author in the forthcoming report. “India is already taking giant strides towards transitioning to a low carbon economy. But during this transition, specially in terms of electrification there will be trade-offs and challenges which this report will inform and that will be of importance to India.”
“The first working group report of the IPCC sixth assessment in 2021 quantified the physical changes in the past and future climate, due to increased greenhouse gas emissions. The second working group report will elaborate on the impacts and risks due to these physical changes and point out ways to reduce these risks through adaptation. We might have to take up the best adaptation measures that work for us to build a climate-resilient, disaster-proof country, but that will require immediate policy and action—since time is short,” said Roxy Mathew Koll, a climate scientist at Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology.
“South Asia and particularly India is already facing increased risks due to rising extreme weather events such as floods, landslides, and droughts, cyclones, heatwaves and cold waves, and a rising sea level. The dense population and low house-hold income in the region will raise the vulnerability and risk that we are facing,” he added.
The world may have lost the opportunity to keep global warming under 1.5 degree C over pre-industrial levels, the WG I report titled “Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis” released last August said.
The forthcoming IPCC report assumes even more significance because scientists have said there is now consensus that even 1.5 degree C warming will be dangerous for the planet leading to breach of important tipping points—the big biophysical elements that regulate the climate system such as the Greenland Ice Sheet; West Antarctic Ice Sheet; low latitude coral reefs; Barrent sea ice; Amazon rainforest; the monsoons; and Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC).
Johan Rockstrom, director, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research spoke on Monday at a webinar titled “Protecting The Planet’s Future: An Environmental Agenda” organised by India International Centre and Public Health Foundation of India where he said that several of these tipping points are approaching instability and there are cascading impacts on the climate system when this happens. Based on information from the Earth Commission he said “There is now more support for the fact that 1.5 degree warming is the real boundary…many elements are approaching tipping points under well below 2 degree C warming and at 1.5 degree warming,” adding that this could pose a real danger to the climatic systems globally.