Forecasting Change: Climate report paints dire picture if changes aren’t made

Severity based on choices made today

This GOES-16 GeoColor satellite image taken Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020, at 4:50 p.m. EDT., and provided by NOAA, shows Hurricane Laura over the Gulf of Mexico. Hurricane Laura strengthened Wednesday into an extremely dangerous Category 4 hurricane," The National Hurricane Center said. Laura is expected to strike Wednesday night into Thursday morning along the Louisiana-Texas border. (NOAA via AP) (Uncredited)

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued part 1 of its Sixth Assessment Report. The report says that it appears the Earth is now hotter than it has been any time since the last Ice Age more than 125,000 years ago.

The future temperatures are only going to get hotter if we, as humans, continue to pump carbon into our atmosphere.

Future temperatures with and without changes

The report says we are looking at big problems related to the warming. Here on Forecasting Change, we have been addressing the “new normal” we are living in with our heavy rains, increased pests problems, sea level rise and droughts.

The report says these problems could easily be with us for decades if not centuries. The rise in sea level does not simply go away even if we do well in slowing the warming.

Climate impacts

By now, most of you are aware of the dire warning of warming the global temperature by 1.5 degrees C. This new report says we are on track to hit that point by the year 2040. That is now only 19 years away. The IPCC says even if we do cut emissions as fast as we can, the approach of the breaking point can not be stopped.

Global temperature change

Our best hopes to prevent catastrophic problems is to stop putting carbon emissions into the atmosphere. We can also mitigate damages by preparing for the changes. In future Forecasting Change discussions, we will address both of those issues.

About the Author:

Tom Sorrells is News 6's Emmy award winning chief meteorologist. He pinpoints storms across Central Florida to keep residents safe from dangerous weather conditions.