In a world that is warmer by just 4 degrees celsius, what used to be a once-in-a-decade hot temperature extreme is expected to occur 9.4 times more often, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Sixth Assessment Report. The report warns that the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events are increasing and will continue to do so with every additional increment of global warming.
To put those numbers in context, the decarbonization commitments made by countries at COP26 will likely cause temperatures to rise between 1.8 and 2.4 degrees Celsius by 2100, with the risk of even more pronounced warming, according to Climate Ambition Tracker.
Recent extreme weather events corroborated the IPCC’s findings and offered a stark reminder that climate change is a significant threat to global health. In June, several states in Canada and the U.S. recorded exceptionally high temperatures, resulting in sharp increases in heat-related deaths and illnesses. Flood risk is also increasing: heavy rainfall in Germany and Belgium in July led to severe flooding with hundreds of fatalities and considerable infrastructure damage.