The Good, The Bad, The Ugly: Climate Change Update From IPCC

Climate Change
August 10, 2021
Tarmo Virki

From floods in Germany to heatwaves in Lapland and droughts in Brazil - climate change and its implications are making headlines around the world.

So it was no surprise that when the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published its nearly 4,000-page long scientific report — the world’s most prominent media outlets were not shy in their use of words. CNN said it was “the final warning”, BBC called it “code red for humanity”, The Atlantic just bluntly “a catastrophe”. We sat down with the report to look beyond the headlines and see what stands out.


Scientists are more optimistic than before that global warming can still stay within the Paris Agreement’s 1.5 degrees Celsius temperature rise from prehistoric times. For this to happen, global carbon emissions need to reach a net-zero level by 2050 — this, however, needs immediate, rapid, and large-scale reductions in the emissions.

Even with the cuts, extreme weather will be more common, but the impacts are limited. Unless there are drastic cuts in emissions, limiting warming to close to 1.5 or even 2 degrees will be beyond reach, and the average rise in the temperature could be even beyond 3 degrees.


Extreme weather is already here, and their likelihood is only rising, even if capping carbon emissions succeeds at +1.5 degrees.

  • Once-in-a-decade droughts could occur every five or six years
  • Once-in-50-years extreme heat waves are expected to happen every six years
  • Once-in-100-years extreme sea-level events, like coastal flooding, could happen every year by the end of this century


The turn to worse started with the Industrial Revolution, but the radical change for the worse over the last few decades is long-lasting. The scientists said they were highly confident it would take several centuries to millennia for sea level to reverse course even under large net negative CO2 emissions.

The average sea level will rise at least 0.5-1 meters by 2100, but the scientists said they could not rule out a rise of 2 meters. For some countries, like the Maldives, this would be the end as the country is on average less than 2 meters above sea level.


It’s crucial to protect intact ecosystems we have left: forest, wetlands, and other natural resources.

We want to hear from you if you are:

  • a conservation group
  • an institutional landowner
  • a private landowner

We offer you an alternative for your land management: benefit from preserving forests and other natural resources.

Maarika or Kaspar would love to hear from you:

Maarika Truu, Head of Partnerships,

Kaspar Põder, Head of Growth,

Single.Earth is on a mission to help preserve and restore existing ecosystems.

Pre-register as a landowner through the registration link.
Follow us for the latest news on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
Join the community for Single.Earth insights and climate conversations: Earthsavers on Discord.

Recommended articles

Save nature with MERIT tokens