The Essential Guide: Climate Change Report by the IPCC

climate change report image

The Essential Guide: Climate Change Report by the IPCC

Last night, the IPCC released their latest climate change report.


Sadly, it is a very hard pill to swallow. With some incredibly confronting realities that we will come to face over the next 10-80 years.


With the document amounting to an impressive 3,949 pages we felt it would be useful to compile the crucial key points for you. So you don’t need to spend the next 2 months of your life reading through its pages.

Climate Change Report Findings

“It is unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, ocean and land. Widespread and rapid changes in the atmosphere, ocean, cryosphere and biosphere have occurred.”


What we have seen in this climate change report from the Intergovernmental Panel, is startling.


This climate change report took 200 scientists over 3 years to create.


What was once a warning, has moved to a ‘brace for impact’ message. Climate change events are no longer a warning, or a possibility. It’s happening and it’s unavoidable.


We were warned to keep global warming to a limit of 1.5 degrees Celsius. However, that window is rapidly coming to a close.


The likelihood of remaining within 1.5 degree warming window has decreased to 67%. It has been predicated we will likely bypass this in the next 10 years. Shortly after 2030. According to the climate change report.


However all isn’t grim. Even if we do bypass the 1.5 degree warming limit, we can still return that number to 1.5 degrees.  


With the current levels of CO2 and other greenhouse gases in our atmosphere, temperatures will continue to rise. Even if we meet net-zero.


It will take approximately 20 years for the rise in temperature to stabilise.

CO2 levels

CO2 levels

This is due to CO2 levels currently in our atmosphere which has reached an annual average of 410ppm. Land and oceans have sunk around 50% of all emitted carbon emissions.


CO2 levels are predicted to peak in 2040, and thereafter begin to drop.


This would see a temperature increase of 2 degrees between 2041 and 2060. And a rise of 2.7 degrees between 2081 and 2100.

Global warming estimation graph

According to the climate change report it isn’t just CO2 levels we need to be concerned about. Other greenhouse gases such as methane and nitrous oxide also must be addressed and reduced.

We haven’t seen temperatures of this height since approx. 125,000 years ago. Which was known as an interglacial period. A period of time where temperatures are markedly higher, separating consecutive glacial periods within an ice age.

The Consequences

Even fractional shifts in temperature will have devastating knock on effects. Ones of which we are already beginning to see. It is no coincidence that we have seen more extreme wildfires and floods throughout 2021.


If emissions continue to rise, our forests and oceans will struggle to keep up to demand.


To this point, we have been reliant on these eco-systems to absorb excess CO2 we are pumping into the atmosphere. But they are reaching breaking point.


By all means, we can and must continue to plant trees, regenerate coral reefs and kelp forests. Plus, all of the other amazing carbon sinks across the globe.


We can’t stress enough, that we must continue to do this. Even with reduction of emissions, the CO2 in our atmosphere is still off the charts. This must be brought down to pre-industrial levels and can only be done through mitigation.


Which cannot be done without forests, phytoplankton, mangroves, corals, etc.


Whether we stop heating at 2 degrees, 3 degrees, or 4 degrees. The climate change report stresses a a ginormous push towards net-zero targets.

Global warming figures

As well as reduction in the other greenhouse gases previously mentioned.


“Many changes due to past and future greenhouse gas emissions are irreversible for centuries to millennia, especially changes in the ocean, ice sheets and global sea level.”

Plastic pollution

Human Interference

Extreme weather events would have not occurred, had it not been for human interference.


It is indisputable, the crisis is a direct result of human activity.


As for New Zealand’s part to play in the war on climate change, it seems pledges previously made are not tough enough.


The goals set by New Zealand were to reduce CO2 emissions by 30% to pre 2005 levels.


Which is not good enough. Climate Change Minister James Shaw has said they will not be releasing their new climate goals until the UNCCC 2021. So we will have to sit tight until Oct 30th!

Climate change report image

Rising sea levels

The rise in sea levels has been set. We cannot avoid a minimum of 0.4m – 0.8m rise in global sea levels by 2100. Caused by the warming of ocean temperatures around major glaciers in Antarctica and the Arctic region. Causing ice sheets to break away and melt.


Without radical action we can see worsening of droughts, rainfall, cyclones and wildfires. Inevitably causing more deaths due to climate change.


The World Health Organisation has predicted 250,000 more deaths each year between 2030 and 2050. Due to a multitude of factors, including; extreme weather events, food shortages, water shortages, infection and pollution.


The climate change report does not call for a 1-pronged attack. We must consider every angle. We need to reduce our emissions, mitigate current CO2 levels and adapt.


All must be done with haste. There are fantastic resources out there to help you manage your own CO2 emissions, and lifestyle choices! Here’s a few of our favourite.

climate change protestor

Be part of the fight

If you want to be part of the mitigation, you can plant trees with us. We plant large canopy trees to sequester CO2. As well as to aid biodiversity.

Every little effort in the fight against climate change goes a long, long way.

See the full climate change report from the IPCC here.

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