Their previous report in the series - a review of the scientific basis - found that major changes are affecting every corner of the planet, growing in severity, and are undeniably caused by human activities.
The latest report is the most comprehensive assessment of the impacts of climate change, our ability to deal with them, and it presents a dire warning of the consequences of inaction.
So what does the report say? In short, it's a concerning read that highlights the urgency of immediate, global action.
❄️The need for global action is even more urgent than previously assessed.
❄️Human induced climate change is already causing dangerous and widespread disruption in nature, affecting the lives of billions around the world.
❄️Climate change, including increased extreme weather, has already pushed some beyond their ability to adapt and exposed millions of people to food and water insecurity.
❄️People and ecosystems least able to cope, especially the poorest and in the Global South, are being hardest hit. Approximately 3.3 to 3.6 billion people “live in contexts that are highly vulnerable to climate change”.
❄️Climate change is driving mass mortalities in species such as trees & corals, and a large majority of endemic mountain species will be at risk of extinction.
❄️We won’t be able to adapt enough if climate change goes too far - we need to keep to 1.5 degrees. To do that, the UK needs to reach Net Zero by mid century.
The Mountains and Snowsports Industry
Climate change and its effects go well beyond snowsports and the mountains, but both are of huge importance to us and sowed the seeds of our journey to climate action.
The report makes several references to both, and unfortunately, it reaffirms what many of us have witnessed first-hand.
❄️ Changes to the mountain environment have been increasing in recent decades, including reductions in snowfall, snow cover and depth, and the size of glaciers, and these will continue.
❄️ These changes are already having serious consequences to economies and cultures, and these will get more serious with every bit of warming.
❄️ Due to reduced snow availability and hotter summers, damages are projected for the European tourism industry, and the example that the expectation of lower snow cover levers can reduce or stop investments in ski resorts.
❄️ At 2°C warming, the operation of low altitude resorts without snowmaking will likely be discontinued, while beyond 3°C warming, snowmaking will be necessary but not always sufficient for most resorts in many European mountains.
❄️Snowmaking, however, is a short-sighted adaptation that won’t be able to continue if there is too much warming.
❄️There will be a growing mismatch between ski area supply and skier demand in the coming decades, likely to lead to price rises.
❄️Above 1.5°C global warming, limited supplies of freshwater will be a serious problem for regions dependent on glacier and snow-melt.
What can you do right now?
It's very concerning, yes, and not a single community can opt out, but if we act with the utmost urgency we can bring about the systemic change needed to get us out of this crisis.
Join us and let's use this warning as the catalyst for positive change.
❄️Email your MP/MSP/councillor and let them know you want to see action.
❄️Normalise talking about climate change at the crag, the trail, on the slopes, and with your family, friends, and colleagues.