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IPCC’s Sixth Assessment report:

GS Paper 3

Topics Covered: Conservation related issues.


Context: Recently, IPCC released its Sixth Assessment ReportClimate Change 2021: The Physical Science”.

  • Several Indian Scientists have participated in the preparation of this report.


What is Sixth Assessment Report (AR6)?

The Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the sixth in a series of reports intended to assess scientific, technical, and socio-economic information concerning climate change.

  • This report evaluates the physical science of climate change – looking at the past, present, and future climate.
  • It reveals how human-caused emissions are altering our planet and what that means for our collective future.

Highlights of Sixth Assessment Report (AR6):

  • Weather and climate events – such as extreme heat, heavy rainfall, fire conditions, and droughts – are becoming more severe and frequent because of climate change.
  • The report finds we are already edging closer to a 1.5 degrees Celsius warmer world, and every day emissions rise the prospects for averting the worst impacts of climate change become dimmer.
  • Carbon dioxide has been and will continue to be the dominant cause of global warming under all greenhouse gas emissions scenarios.
  • It says, if greenhouse gas emissions are halved by 2030 and net zero by 2050, global warming can be stopped.
  • Also, IPCC report vindicates India’s position that historical cumulative emissions are the source of the climate crisis that the World faces today.


Major Concerns:

The report highlights that our climate is rapidly changing due to human influence and is already altering our planet in drastic ways –

  • Arctic Sea ice is at its lowest level in more than 150 years;
  • Sea levels are rising faster than at any time in at least the last 3,000 years; and
  • Glaciers are declining at a rate unprecedented in at least 2,000 years.


Need of the hour:

  • It is essential that all countries – in particular the major economies – do their part during this critical decade of the 2020s to put the world on a trajectory to keep a 1.5 degrees Celsius limit on warming within reach.
  • This is why the United States has committed to a 50-52 percent reduction in emissions from 2005 levels in 2030 and is marshaling the entire federal government to tackle the climate crisis.
  • As countries prepare for the 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, this report is a stark reminder that we must let science drive us to action.
  • This moment requires world leaders, the private sector, and individuals to act together with urgency and do everything it takes to protect our planet and our future in this decade and beyond.


Sources: the Hindu.