VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The world’s climate crisis has been at the political forefront this week, and now, a new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is detailing the best and worst case scenarios, including what could happen here in B.C.
Unless governments act now, and act big, the kind of coastal floods which used to happen once a century on the west coast will happen every year, the world’s leading climate scientists say.
Lower levels of ice and snow in the Rockies will disrupt the availability of clean water across western Canada, and diminishing ocean greenery will imperil the sea life many communities rely on for food.
All this within the next four decades.
But report co-author Hans-Otto Pörtner stresses that it is not too late, and the tide appears to be turning.
“It is very clear that society is now receiving the message more strongly than ever before,” he explains.
The report has found seas are rising at one-seventh of an inch a year — 2.5 times faster than the rate from 1900 to 1990. It also says marine animals are likely to decrease 15 per cent, and catches by fisheries in general are expected to decline 21 per cent to 24 per cent by the end of century because of climate change.
The Nobel Prize-winning IPCC requires nations meeting this week in Monaco to unanimously approve the report, and because of that the group’s reports tend to show less sea level rise and smaller harms than other scientific studies, outside experts said.
IPCC co-chair Valérie Masson-Delmotte says the findings highlight just how big the problem we’re facing is.
“Another important message to emerge though, is that we can act, and that we can act at scale. That, to me, is the most important advancement of this report.”
The panel also notes that people — especially young people — around the world are mobilizing to meet this challenge.
A massive global climate strike is planned for this coming Friday, with many schools across the Lower Mainland allowing their students to miss class to attend.