CS MENTORS – IAS Academy : Call 88222 99444

IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has released its Sixth Assessment report titled “Climate Change 2021- The Physical Science Basis”.

Key Findings

  • The Indian Ocean is warming at a higher ratethan other oceans due to which India will witness increased heat waves and flooding, which will be the irreversible effects of climate change.
  • The current overall global warming trends are likely to lead to an increase in annual mean precipitation over India, with more severe rain expected over southern India in the coming decades.
  • It noted that carbon dioxidehas been and will continue to be the dominant cause of global warming under all greenhouse gas emissions scenarios.
  • The warming of the ocean would lead to a rise in sea levels, leading to frequent and severe coastal flooding in low-level areas. 
  • Monsoon extremesare likely to increase over India and South Asia, while the frequency of short intense rainy days are expected to rise.
  • The planet will irrevocably head towards warming by 5 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial times in the next two decadesstating that human activities are causing climate change.
  • Of the 1.1 degrees Celsius of warming since the pre-industrial era, the IPCC finds that less than 0.1 degrees Celsius is due to natural forcings, such as volcanos or variations in the sun.
  • Human influence is the principal driver of many changes in snow and ice, oceans, atmosphere and land.
  • Eg:Glacial retreat since the 1990s, the reduction of Arctic sea ice since the 1970s, the decline in spring snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere since 1950, and global sea level rise since at least 1970.
  • Many consequences of climate change will become irreversible over time, most notably melting ice sheets, rising seas, Biodiversity loss and more acidic oceansand the impacts will continue to mount and compound as emissions increase.
  • The report finds carbon sinks such as land and water are at great riskdue to increasing temperature. eg: Amazon Rainforest
  • According to IPCC’s study, the land sink eventually turns into a source, emitting CO2 instead of absorbing it. This can lead to runaway warming.
  • In short, the new report attributes catastrophic events to sustained global warming, particularly the frequency and intensity of hot extremes, marine heatwaves, heavy precipitation, agricultural and ecological droughts, proportion of intense tropical cyclones, reductions in Arctic Sea ice, snow cover and permafrost.

Message for India

  • With a warning that a 1.5 degree warming was likely even before 2040, IPCC has tried to make a case, much stronger than before, for immediate cuts on global greenhouse gas emissions.
  • For India, it is likely to translate into increased pressure to agree to a net-zero target, a deadline by which it should be able to bring down its emissions to a level that equals the absorptions made by its carbon sinks, like forests.
  • The IPCC report said that a global net-zero by 2050 was the minimum required to keep the temperature rise to 1.5 degree Celsius. Without India, this would not be possible. Even China, the world’s biggest emitter, has a net-zero goal for 2060.
  • The IPCC report could also lead to renewed demands that all countries update their climate action plans, called nationally-determined contributions or NDCs in official language.
  • Under the Paris Agreement, every country has submitted an NDC, listing the climate actions they intend to take by 2025 or 2030. These NDCs have to be updated with stronger action, mandatorily, every five years from 2025


  • Every few years, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) produces assessment reports that are the most comprehensive scientific evaluations of the state of earth’s climate.
  • Set up in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the IPCC does not itself engage in scientific research. Instead, it asks scientists from around the world to go through all the relevant scientific literature related to climate change and draw up the logical conclusions.
  • The assessment reports are the most widely-accepted scientific opinion about climate change. They form the basis for government policies to tackle climate change, and also provide the scientific foundation for the international climate change negotiations.
  • The five previous assessment reports that have come out since the IPCC was established in 1988 have formed the basis of international climate change negotiations, and the actions taken by the governments.
  • Significance – IPCC assessment reports have been extremely influential in directing the dialogue and action on climate change.
  • First Assessment Report – Led to the setting up of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
  • Second Assessment Report – Basis for 1997 Kyoto Protocol that ran till last year.

Fifth Assessment Report – Guided the Paris Agreement, which replaced the Kyoto Protocol from this year.


Enquiry Form

    Write To Us