AUSTIN (KXAN) — The recently released Sixth Assessment Report of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) paints a clear message from the world’s top climate scientists: Drastic changes are needed immediately to ensure a livable future on this planet. .
Chief Meteorologist David Yeomans interviewed Dr. Ben Kirtman of the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School — a climate science doctorate and one of the authors of a previous IPCC report — on KXAN News Tuesday at 4 p.m.
Dr. Kirtman said this latest climate assessment paints a stark contrast to previous reports in terms of how quickly and drastically changes in greenhouse gas emissions must occur to limit global warming to 1.5°C (about 3°C). F) by 2050 Indeed, the scientists in the report found that we now have a greater than 50% chance of exceeding 1.5°C of warming by 2050.
Local Texas impacts
Central Texas is projected to become drier as rainfall becomes less reliable and warmer temperatures cause more of our surface water supply to evaporate. The drought in Texas is expected to get worse.
“Places that are dry and tend to have dry climates will get drier, and those places that tend to be a little wetter will get wetter. And that’s going to get more extreme as we go into the future,” Kirtman said.
Is it too late to act?
When asked about the bleak outlook this report paints, Kirtman was still optimistic about the future. He said that if countries stop opening new coal-fired power plants, cities invest in more trees and green spaces, and residents shift more to electric transportation, it could have a significant impact.
“I’m actually quite optimistic that if we do everything, we could achieve our goal of stabilizing the climate at 3 degrees (Fahrenheit) warming before mid-century,” Kirtman said. “The situation is serious, it is disastrous. We must act now. But if we act now, we can reverse the trends we’re seeing.”