New Climate Change Report Stresses Need for Change

Aug. 9 2021, the United Nations (UN) released the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report regarding the current status of climate change. Climate change emerged as a major global issue in 1998. As attention towards the issue grows, staff and students at RHS continue to express opinions and concerns about climate change.

Important information released by the IPCC included the difference in temperatures and sea levels. Since the 1850-1900s, global surface temperature has increased by 1.09 degrees and sea levels have just about tripled in contrast from 1901-1971. 

With heatwaves and sudden rises in temperatures, scientists can say with certainty that humanity is one of the main factors of climate change.  

Scientists are optimistic that if we cut global emissions down by 2030 and obtain net 0 before the end of the century, we can terminate climate change and with luck, reverse it. 

“I hope so, and I think it’s just something that takes a longer time, ” science teacher Jeff Grandin said. “I think we can [reverse climate change], and whether it’s through reduction, conservation, or even technology, maybe there is going to be technology that can help out, but it is not something that will happen immediately.” 

The IPCC suggests that we all take action in our areas immediately, by coming together and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, using clean technologies, and planting more trees to absorb any remaining releases. 

“This is hard because when you take a look at individuals, they only make a difference when there are enough individuals doing it,” Grandin said. 

Predictions given regarding the future of this planet include a projected temperature increase of 1.5 degrees celsius or more. Scientists expect the Arctic to be ice free more than once by 2050. Concerns regarding these predictions include the unknown adaptation of biodiversity and living things. 

Students and staff at Rockville expect climate change to get worse in the next few years due to the lack of improvement seen in major issues like pollution or global warming. 

“I feel like I have not seen much improvement in any factors of pollution or climate change in general, ” freshman Camila Sanchez said. 

Immediate action is very encouraged by all professionals and the IPCC, and as humans stand as one of the main factors of climate change, scientists encourage conservation efforts, promoting sustainability, and recycling. 

“I think what we have done is irreversible, but if we take action now, we can prevent it from getting worse later on,” Sanchez said.