Climate in Peril: A Popular Guide to the Latest IPCC Reports
In 2007 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) shared the Nobel Peace Prize with former US Vice President Al Gore for their work to provide policy makers and the general public around the world with the best possible science base for understanding and combating the increasing threat from climate change. But as the messages from the scientists are becoming increasingly explicit, the gap between the need for action they project and the climate policy the world leaders put in place is steadily increasing.
One illustration is the trend in emissions of green- house gases. According to the IPCC global emissions would need to peak between 2000 and 2015 in order to limit the global temperature increase to between 2 and 2.4ºC compared to pre-industrial times. In 2007, when ideally the emissions should have peaked, the world instead experienced a new record in annual emission increase. For each day we fail to twist development towards a low-carbon society, the damage to the world’s ecosystems become more severe, and the costs of mitigation and adaptation increases.
The main purpose of this short guide is to help bridging the gap between science and policy and to increase public awareness about the urgency of action to combat climate change and its impacts. This booklet is intended for those who do not have the time – and may not have the scientific expertise – to read the entire Synthesis Report from the IPCC.