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The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has today launched its sixth assessment report (AR6) on the current state of the climate, including how it is changing and the role of human influence. 

The report, published three months ahead of the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow, also provides policymakers and other decision makers with five scenarios for possible climate futures, depending on whether we take adequate action in time to limit a global temperature increase to 2C above pre-industrial levels.

The report authors conclude that it is "unequivocal" that human influence has affected the climate and that "strong reductions" in greenhouse gas emissions are needed to attain net zero by 2050 and achieve a 2C pathway.

If emissions remain at current levels, say the authors, the global temperature increase will exceed 2C leading to an even greater frequency of adverse weather events, including heat extremes and higher rainfall. The report also points to the reduced ability of land and oceans to absorb CO2 in future if emissions are not reined in.

A recurring feature of today's report press conference, held online, was the message "The climate we experience in the future depends on our decisions now".

The report builds on the 2013 Working Group I contribution to the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) and the 2018–2019 IPCC Special Reports of the AR6 cycle and incorporates subsequent new evidence from climate science.

A summary of AR6 can be downloaded here.

Media enquiries

Please contact Indira Mann:

+44 (0)131 650 0294

indira.mann@sccs.org.uk

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