Climate Change Impact on India and World – International Reports, Key Observations, etc.

IPCC releases part of the Sixth Assessment Report


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: IPCC, UNFCC

Mains level: IPCC assessment reports and their significance

What is the issue:

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released the second part of its sixth assessment report. The first part was released in 2021.

What is IPCC?

  • The IPCC, an intergovernmental body was established in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
  • It was later endorsed by the UN General Assembly. Membership is open to all members of the WMO and UN.
  • The IPCC produces reports that contribute to the work of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the main international treaty on climate change.
  • The objective of the UNFCCC is to “stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic (human-induced) interference with the climate system.”

What are the Assessment Reports?

  • Every few years, the IPCC produces assessment reports that are the most comprehensive scientific evaluations of the state of earth’s climate.
  • Instead, it asks scientists from around the world to go through all the relevant scientific literature related to climate change and draw up the logical conclusions.
  • So far, five assessment reports have been produced, the first one being released in 1990.
  • The IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report was a critical scientific input into the UNFCCC’s Paris Agreement in 2015.

Highlights of the recent report

  • Rapidly advancing climate change: From the melting of the Greenland ice sheet to the destruction of coral reefs, climate related impacts are hitting the world at the high end much more quickly than previously assessed by the IPCC.
  • Limitations of technology: The use of some technologies designed to limit warming or reduce CO2 could make matters worse rather than better.
  • Impact of urbanization: While large cities are hotspots for climate impacts, they also offer a real opportunity to avoid the worst impacts of warming.
  • Limited opportunity for mitigation: The report has warned the opportunity for action will only last for the rest of this decade.

Some projections of the first part of 6th Report

  • Regional focus: It is expected that this report would likely state what the scenarios for sea-level rise in the Bay of Bengal region is, not just what the average sea-level rise across the world is likely to be.
  • Rise of extreme events: There is expected to be bigger focus on extreme weather events, like the ones we have seen in the last few weeks.
  • Vulnerabilities of urban areas: Densely populated mega-cities are supposed to be among the most vulnerable to impacts of climate change. The report is expected to present specific scenarios the climate change impacts on cities and large urban populations, and also implications for key infrastructure.
  • Synergy of climate action is needed: IPCC is expected to present a more integrated understanding of the situation, cross-link evidence and discuss trade-offs between different options or pathways, and also likely to cover social implications of climate change action by countries.

Here is what the previous assessment reports had said:

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