IPCC report: Consequences of climate change for nature

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IPCC report: Consequences of climate change for nature

Climate and biodiversity protection must be thought of together - this is emphasized by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in the second part of its 6th Assessment Report, published under the title "Climate Change 2022 - Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability".

03/01/2022: Increasingly frequent weather extremes are already being observed around the world, the IPCC warns in its report. Increasing heat waves, storms, droughts and floods are having serious impacts on biodiversity and our ecosystems, which are not adapted to such extremes.

Weather extremes with severe impacts on biodiversity

Experts even speak of climate-induced mass mortality of plants and animals. Coral reef bleaching and the decline of sea ice-dependent species are just two examples. The multiple risks will increase with each additional degree of global warming. Especially if 1.5 °C is exceeded, even temporarily, serious irreversible consequences are to be expected - which we could already face in the near future.

Protecting and renaturalizing ecosystems against climate change

The next decade is therefore crucial for the extent and speed of climate change, according to the IPCC report. For its mitigation and for climate-resilient development, the protection of biodiversity and of natural ecosystems is fundamental, it says. This is because intact ecosystems are more resilient to climate change. On the one hand, intact ecosystems are more resilient to climate change, and preserving them is essential because the decline of important ecosystem services can become a matter of survival for humans - first and foremost, an adequate supply of food and water. On the other hand, nature can absorb and store carbon and thus counteract global warming.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change therefore advocates protecting existing ecosystems on 30-50% of global land, freshwater and marine areas from severe human intervention and renaturalizing further areas.

Measures such as these can still be effective before hard adaptation limits are finally reached. Given the projected drastic, self-reinforcing impacts of climate change, urgency in immediate action is the order of the day to ensure a livable future worldwide.

Author: Global Nature Fund