Sunday, April 10, 2022

IPCC Releases final Part of the 6th Report

In case you missed it, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, IPCC, after a slight delay released the final portion of the sixth report. To a large part it was gloom and doom with  smiley face stuck on it. The scientists find that:

  • Total net anthropogenic GHG emissions are now 59  gigatonnes of CO2 equivalents a year.
  • CO2 emissions per year have continued to grow annually (except to a brief reduction at the beginning of the pandemic).
  • Despite pledges made in in the Paris Accord and updated in Glasgow at the COP 26 meeting the world is still on track for a 2-2.9 degree Celsius warming.
  • World emissions would have to peak by 2025 and fall 43% by 2030 to have a shot of holding temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius. This is virtually impossible.

We still need to cut emissions to minimize the damage and impacts to the people, animals and planet, but there will still be damage. The report give several strategies to achieve that. They all boil down to electrifying transportation, converting the electric grid to renewable energy and increasing carbon uptake using mostly agriculture, nature and trees.

Regional contributions to global GHG emissions continue to differ widely. Variations in regional, and national per capita emissions partly reflect different development stages, but they also vary widely at similar income levels. However, the 10% of households with the highest per capita emissions contribute a disproportionately large share of global household GHG emissions. (That is all of us, especially in North America and the other developed nations.)

“In 2019 (the last year included in the report), approximately 34% (20 GtCO2-eq) of total net anthropogenic GHG emissions came from the energy supply sector, 24% (14 GtCO2-eq) from industry, 22% (13 GtCO2-eq) from agriculture, forestry and other land use, 15% (8.7 GtCO2-eq) from transport and 6% (3.3 GtCO2-eq) from buildings. If, however, emissions from electricity and heat production are attributed to the sectors that use the final energy, 90% of these indirect emissions are allocated to the industry and buildings sectors, increasing their relative GHG emissions shares from 24% to 34%, and from 6% to 16%, respectively. After reallocating emissions from electricity and heat production, the energy supply sector would account for 12% of global net anthropogenic GHG emissions.”

The report's authors said they had "high confidence" that unless countries step up their efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions, the planet will on average be 2.4C to 3.5C (4.3 to 6.3 F) warmer by the end of the century — a level experts say is sure to cause severe impacts for much of the world's population.” The report made it clear that there is no feasible pathway to achieving the GHG emissions reductions that will hold global warming within 1.5 degrees Celsius.   

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