Marine life overheats as it gasps for oxygen in warming oceans. Rising seas swallow islands and coastal areas. A growing number of storms generate historic flooding. Landslides and avalanches wreak havoc as stabilizing ice melts away.
These are just a few of the impacts that scientists are already documenting across the planet after decades of human-driven climate disruption. And there’s far worse to come if climate-damaging activities continue unchecked, according to a report released today (Sept. 25) by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the United Nations body tasked with evaluating climate change (also referred to as global warming) documented by the latest research.
Only swift and decisive governmental actions to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions due to fossil fuel burning on a global scale will reduce the harm of this runaway climate catastrophe, according to the report, which is a compilation of data from nearly 7,000 studies and represents the work of 104 researchers from 36 nations.