What the latest climate report says and why we need to worry

The report draws five scenarios: none are good, one is downright dramatic. What the latest climate report says and why we need to worry.

Fires in Greece and Italy, record-breaking 48-degree heat in Floridia, Sicily, floods in Turkey, Germany and Belgium - and that's just in the last few days: the signs are too many to keep ignoring. Climate change not only exists, but it is one of the greatest emergencies of our time: in the future it will be an increasingly urgent problem.

The new report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has arrived to shake up politics and public opinion, an investigation certainly much awaited, but no less surprising for the dramatic scenario it evokes for the coming years.

What's written in the IPCC report on climate change

In short, everyone should know what's written in the IPCC report, because there is no one who is not directly involved: the document has a very high degree of reliability, because it brings together the contributions of more than 200 scientists from around the world and puts together more than 14,000 studies in a single synthesis.

So this is why climate change must put each one of us on alert, now more than ever.

The IPCC puts in black and white that climate change has been caused by man through the rise in temperatures caused by greenhouse gases: consequently, phenomena such as heat waves - temperatures are dangerous when humidity is at its highest - and records on thermometers will only increase.

What are the five scenarios - from worst to best - contained in the IPCC report

The aggregate study conjures up five possible scenarios regarding the impact of climate change: ranging from the most conservative estimate, in which the Earth's surface warms by 1.8 degrees Celsius or centigrade by 2050, to one in which surface temperatures rise by 5.7 degrees Celsius. This sounds small, but it is not. In the second case, the consequences would be tragic: floods, droughts, famines, migrations, deaths caused by heat stroke or rising seas and more.

There is, however, a positive note - and it comes with a condition: if we make some changes right now, such as reducing global carbon emissions from heavy industry - which is the leading source of greenhouse gas emissions globally - we could start to see an improvement in the environmental conditions of our common home as early as 20 years from now.

But we need to start now, and move fast.

Giuseppe Giordano