11 August 2021

IPCC AR6 quick take: the real-world impacts of global warming

Dr Laura Zamboni

By Dr Laura Zamboni

IPCC AR6 quick take: the real-world impacts of global warming

The usually balanced IPCC was blunt in its assessment of climate change (see my colleague Tim du Bois’s post, A New Normal for Climate). Yet it also held out an olive-branch: the better governments, businesses, and communities grasp the real-world impacts of global warming, the greater our chances of taming climate change.

AR6 stresses the importance of adaptation alongside decarbonisation is the first report. Even under the best-case scenario of 1.5C by 2050, historical emissions have locked in climate risks which we must adapt to. It’s a vital acknowledgement of the need to build climate resilience into all areas of our lives, while at the same time continuing to slash global greenhouse gas emissions.

It’s also the first to feature an interactive atlas where non-scientists can explore the likely impacts of different climate scenarios in a visual, intuitive way.

Together, they help answer the question, “how will global warming affect my part of the world?”.

This conversation is well overdue – but the scientific community can only take it so far on its own.

It isn’t clear, for example, which of the five climate change narratives (Shared Socioeconomic Pathways, or SSPs) worldwide society is most likely to follow. And, aside from the need to drastically reduce carbon emissions, we can’t advise organisations what exactly they need to do to reduce their risks.

But, by working together with technologists, scientists, finance and regulatory experts, and business people, we can translate the science to make it more actionable for everybody.

Using the same peer-reviewed and validated data as the IPCC reports, we can turn complex climate science into immediate and relatable insights. We can also help decision-makers understand what our changing climate means for the assets they own or are responsible for, helping them layer climate change into their decision-making.

Building resilience with Climate Intelligence

Our aim is to empower businesses, financial institutions, communities, and governments to pick up the baton from the scientific community. Our Climate Intelligence platform is based on the most recent and relevant research and provides the means for organisations to quantify the impacts of climate change on the ground.

That in turn can shape decisions over resilience, risk management, and investment. In fact, climate intelligent organisations need to be layering Climate Intelligence into every aspect of decision-making – as they would any other form of risk.

Though many of the headlines from AR6 have focused on the negatives. The risks are indeed there – but in becoming more climate intelligent people and societies can continue to thrive.

With rapid and significant global reductions of emissions combined with building resilience and adaptation into our economies, we have the chance not only to avoid the worst consequences of climate change but also to ignite the transition to a sustainable and just society.

At Cervest, we are encouraging a new climate ecosystem linking scientists, businesses, and governments to achieve this, the need has never been more apparent and the time is now. Our platform enables this transition at scale.

If you’d like to find out more about our climate science or our Climate Intelligence platform, please get in touch.

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