IPCC Report 2021: What do we expect in future?

The rise in average surface temperature beyond 1.5 or 2°C will be breached much earlier; extreme weather events may become worse with time

The Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released August 9, 2021 had a lot of bad news. The rise in average surface temperature of the Earth beyond 1.5 degrees Celsius or the 2°C will be breached much earlier.

Average global temperatures will continue to rise and could increase by 5.7°C by the end of this century as compared to 1850-1900. Consequently, the land surface will continue to warm more than the ocean surface. The Arctic will continue to warm more than global surface temperature.

Extreme weather events can become worse with time: Every additional 0.5°C rise in temperature amplifies the intensity and frequency of heatwaves, heavy precipitation and droughts.

The temperature on the coldest days will increase by three times in the Arctic, the report said. As a result, the frequency of marine heatwaves will continue to increase in the tropical ocean and the Arctic. This will amplify permafrost thawing and loss of seasonal snow cover of land and sea ice.

The Arctic is likely to be practically sea ice-free at least once before 2050.

The global water cycle will continue to transform as surface water flows become more variable over most land regions. A warmer climate will intensify very wet and very dry weather and climate events and seasons leading to flooding or drought.

Land and ocean’s capacity to absorb carbon dioxide (CO2) will decrease: Emitted CO2 will remain in the atmosphere. Greenland ice sheet and Antarctic ice sheet will continuously lose ice over the 21st century.

This ice loss from the Greenland ice sheet will increase with cumulative emissions. Deep ocean warming and ice sheet melt will drive sea level rise for centuries and millennia.

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