Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report Says Planet is Warming Faster

Utah and the rest of the West are reeling from the direct effects of a warming climate, enduring cataclysmic and prolonged drought, catastrophic wildfires, shortened growing seasons and other food security threats. .

The sixth annual assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change highlights what millions of North American residents, water managers, farmers and power producers already know: the is disastrous and the solutions are not easy.

Even at a 1.5 degree rise, the report underscores food supply vulnerabilities, particularly as rangelands become arid, water scarcity becomes a reality, fisheries are threatened and production demand increases with a growing population.

Globally, the current food production system supports the livelihoods of more than a billion people, but declining crop yields and suitability are expected to increasingly occur amid warming climates. temperatures and a more arid climate, according to the report.

Already around 25-30% of food production ends up as waste around the world, even though around 821 million people are undernourished.

Utah and other western states experienced shortened growing seasons as warm temperatures dragged on and water reductions were drastically implemented.

A wide range of climate change advocates say the drought and the report is a collective springboard to invest more in water-saving strategies in multiple areas such as agriculture, which drives 80% of water use. water in Utah and the rest of the Colorado River Basin.

Sarah Bucci, director of strategic communications for the Climate Nexus Water Hub, said water users need to stretch available water supplies, consider replacing crops and updating irrigation systems.

To that end, Utah Governor Spencer Cox has recommended $20 million in Agricultural Optimization Funds in his budget, which are grants that farmers and ranchers can apply for to improve distribution efficiency. of water, including the installation of advanced technologies or the lining of canals.

The report notes that climate change disproportionately affects developing countries and minorities who lack access to reliable supplies of food, water and means to cool their homes.

Some countries have also not implemented climate change adaptation or mitigation strategies.

“This report is a wake-up call. Already, the climate crisis is devastating communities across the country. Delaying action any longer would be disastrous. The scale of the global climate crisis demands action on the same scale. This means transitioning to a clean energy economy and climate protection of our nation’s critical infrastructure as quickly as possible,” said Lori Lodes, Executive Director of Climate Power.

Teresa H. Sadler