“It is time to act now”, Spanish minister Ribera said on Monday in response to the IPCC climate change report. The report states only drastic measures can prevent us from having to deal with extreme weather conditions.
The report’s authors are very concerned and speak of a ‘code red’ for humanity. Man has attacked and changed the environment at an ‘unprecedented pace’. The Earth is increasingly at risk of catastrophic disasters in the absence of rapid reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. The climate panel sees only uncertainty as to whether humanity can muster the will to avert an even darker future.
The Spanish minister stressed the IPCC document “leaves no doubt” about the accelerating pace of climate change. She stated in that regard “it is time to act and act now”.
“It is necessary to do it because of the impact it has on a global scale, but it is also necessary to do it with the utmost precision with regard to the regional scale.” In this sense, the minister expressed the need to apply corrective measures and avoid delaying them until “no longer the 2050 horizon, and not even the 2030 horizon”.
Role of scientific evidence
Ribera also emphasised the role scientific evidence should play as an engine of change; to “promote the transformation of our development model and economic system” to tackle climate change. This requires “very profound and significant changes” to remain at “reasonable risk levels”.
The report projects temperature increases of more than 1.5°C and even 2°C unless the international community takes action to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Spanish contribution to the climate report
Ribera also highlighted Spain’s contribution to the report. It contains an interactive atlas (accessible via this link) which allows examination of the results on a regional scale. The team that developed this atlas was led by Spanish scientist José Manuel Gutiérrez, from the Instituto de Física de Cantabria and Superior Council of Scientific Research (CSIC).
Three other Spanish researchers co-authored the report with him. They were, Francisco Doblas Reyes (Barcelona Supercomputing Center), Sergio Faria (Basque Center for Climate Change), and Sergio Vicente-Serrano (Pyrenean Institute of Ecology).
The climate report was presented in the run-up to the major UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow. The conference starts at the end of October. World leaders have to make decisions there to at least slow down the inevitable global warming.
Worldwide problems due to extreme weather
The scientists’ urgent warning comes at a time when extreme weather is hitting many parts of the planet. Examples are the heat records in America, the wildfires in Canada and the United States, the fires in Siberia and the fires in south-eastern Europe. According to the report’s authors, the intense fires that ravage both hemispheres in the summer would be nearly impossible in a world untouched by human activities.