The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, working under the United Nations, issued a new report on Monday regarding climate change that concluded melting ice caps, rising sea levels, and other global warming effects may be irreversible for centuries. It also concluded that these changes are “unequivocally” due to greenhouse-gas emissions caused from human activity, reports the Wall Street Journal.
The report was drawn up over three years and analyzed 14,000 peer-reviewed scientific studies done. It is the first major international cooperative assessment done in eight years and is also the first of four major reports from the IPCC that are to be released in the coming year and a half, setting the stage for the climate change summit happening in November of this year.
The report focuses on the human creation and contribution of greenhouse gases and the subsequent droughts, heat waves, and other extreme weather events related to a warming planet. It “connects the dots in a way we really haven’t seen before,” said Michael Mann, climate scientist and director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University. Mann, who was not involved in the report, went on to say that “the message eerily resonates with what we’re seeing this summer in Canada, the U.S. and Europe as extreme weather events play havoc on us and our infrastructure.”
Global temperatures last year tied for the warmest on record and concluded the warmest decade on record for modern times. Global temperatures have risen by 1.1C, or roughly 34 degrees Fahrenheit, since 1850 and the advent of the industrial revolution.
Carbon dioxide levels released into the air from activities such as burning fossil fuels, cement production, and deforestation reached 419 parts per million in May, a level higher than any in the previous 3.6 million years according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Methane, a more dangerous greenhouse gas, has risen in the atmosphere two and a half times what it was preindustrial levels, reported the International Energy Agency.