It’s an “unequivocal” fact that the earth is warming. It’s “extremely likely” that humans are the cause. And if humans don’t take action and significantly cut carbon emissions, the Earth could face “severe, widespread, and irreversible impacts.”
That’s according to the most recent “synthesis” report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, released Nov. 1. Using the strongest language yet, the report addresses the causes and impacts of climate change.
Signs of climate change are already visible. Rising sea levels. Severe heat waves. Floods. Storms. Food shortages. Drought.
“We try to say the clearest things that the science supports,” said Michael Oppenheimer, a professor at Princeton and one of the report’s lead authors. “We don’t go in there trying to scare people or trying to send messages that are shaky … The science has supported progressively stronger messages.”
Below are six more quotes about the UN’s climate report:
“Science has spoken. There is no ambiguity in the message. Leaders must act. Time is not on our side.”-UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon
“The IPCC’s new Synthesis Report is yet another wake-up call to the global community that we must act together swiftly and aggressively in order to stem climate change and avoid its worst impacts.” – John P. Holdren, Director of the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy
“There’s been a focus on the closing window of opportunity, because we’ve already emitted so much in the atmosphere. The coverage has been less focused on what the world will look like if we really let it get out of control, if the world temperature rises 5 to 6 degrees Celsius. It’s a world that looks like the world dinosaurs lived in when they were dominant. And we just don’t know how human beings fit into this picture. If we get cracking, it doesn’t have to get out of control.” – Michael Oppenheimer, IPCC lead author and director of Princeton University’s Program in Science, Technology and Environmental Policy
“Every time the IPCC comes around, we have a crisper more worrisome set of messages about the trends in emissions and impacts of climate change, and then you don’t see much connection between that story and what governments actually do. That’s because it’s not really a scientific problem anymore. Essentially, everything that needs to be done to move the needle is political.” – David Victor, Professor at University of California at San Diego and author of “Global Warming Gridlock”
“The costs will go up enormously if we keep delaying things. The cost of inaction will be horrendously higher than the cost of action.” – IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri
“There is no significant man-made global warming now. There hasn’t been any in the past, and there’s no reason to expect any in the future.” – John Coleman, weather forecaster and one of the founders of the Weather Channel told CNN’s “Reliable Sources.”
“The reality of climate change is undeniable, and cannot be simply wished away by politicians who lack the courage to confront the scientific evidence.” – Lord Nicolas Stern, professor at the London School of Economics
This post was updated on Nov 4.