‘It’s not up for debate’: UN report reveals major human role in climate change

KOLD News 10-10:30 p.m. recurring
Published: Aug. 10, 2021 at 4:23 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - A United Nations report on climate change, released Monday, Aug. 9, is being called a “code red for humanity” and sounding the alarms to prevent further damage. Record-breaking heat waves, wildfires, extreme droughts and catastrophic rainfall are all noticeable effects of climate change that are progressively getting worse.

“In some of these extreme events we see the signs clearly emerging of what we have done to the planet’s climate,” said Dr. Kevin Anchukaitis, a geography professor at the University of Arizona.

He said the report makes it clear that human activities are to blame for the earth’s warming. His wife, Dr. Jessica Tierney, is a climate change expert at the U of A, was a lead author on the report.

“Moving forward into the future, based on the projections that the report explores is that it will be more likely we will see these extreme events,” she said.

She is one of more than 200 scientists around the world who contributed. She says some damage like melting ice sheets and rising sea levels are irreversible but extreme droughts and flooding can be prevented.

“One thing I want to say is we can’t give up hope because it’s still possible to determine our future,” Tierney said.

The report says temperatures have risen about 2 degrees Fahrenheit since the 19th century and could rise by up to 4 degrees if changes aren’t made.

“Reading the report, the thing that comes to mind is motivating,” Anchukaitis said. “I think what the report really says is that, this is the chance we have to make the changes we need to.”

The report calls on world leaders to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and burning of fossil fuels immediately. It is expected to be a major focus during the United Nations Summit in November.

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