NewsLocal News


U.N. Report: climate change will worsen if change doesn't happen now

Posted at 9:50 PM, Mar 20, 2023

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The United Nations has a panel that collects data over several years on climate change. On Monday, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released their sixth report, the fifth report coming in 2014.

The message? It’s now or never to take action.

Due mostly to human causes, the report stated actions need to be taken to slow the warming up of the Earth or climate change affects will be exacerbated.

“The part that people have to understand is that when you take actions now, it takes decades to really take into affect,” said Philippe Tissot, chair for Coastal Artificial Intelligence at Conrad Blucher Institute

Tissot has been studying climate change effects for some time.

According to the IPCC report, the Earth's surface temperature has been rising. In 2018, the IPCC set a goal to not allow the surface temperature to rise more than 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit (1.5 degrees Celsius), from what it was before the industrial revolution. The report states that is becoming increasingly challenging.

The report said greenhouse gas emissions have been the primary culprit and should already start decreasing. All to meet the goal of cutting the production in half by 2030. The climate change has caused negative affects in every part of the globe.

“The sea levels are rising. You can see the beach getting narrower. You can see the inundation of coastal roads being more and more frequent," Tissot said of local impacts.

The report stated ocean levels have rose 0.2 meters in the last 100 years as of 2018. That doesn't take into affect better or worse conditions in specific cities. For Texas, Tissot added the coast is also sinking to some degree.

"We will have more and more heat waves. We have more extreme droughts. Basically, that makes life a lot more difficult and it will be costly to adapt," he said.

Corpus Christi is still in a drought that began in the summer of 2022. Water levels have not returned to an adequate level. Last week, the region experienced the first rain of importance for the last four months.

Droughts cause an impact on farmers, to grocery stores and all the way down to the individual person.

Tissot said a group effort can make an impact. Tissot drives an electric car and uses solar panels at home.

Although Texas is a leader in oil production, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the state leads in carbon-free electricity production, as well. That includes Solar, wind and nuclear power, something Tissot is in favor of if it cuts down on the use of fossil fuels.

“We have to be careful of how we go about it because the economy’s important also, but we just have to do it because we're getting ourselves into a world of trouble,” he said.

In a statement from the Texas Oil and Gas Association, President Todd Staples said:

“Oil and natural gas are irreplaceable commodities that enrich human lives throughout Texas and the world by providing affordable, reliable energy and everyday essentials, and any effort to undermine their availability to consumers will negatively impact the quality of life we enjoy.

The Texas oil and natural gas industry prioritizes environmental stewardship and collaboration in developing innovative solutions and breakthrough technologies to meet the energy demands of today and the future. Texans value the indispensable role that the oil and natural gas industry plays in our state’s economy, our budget and our communities while prioritizing environmental progress.”

In the mean time, Tissot and others have been leading the charge in artificial intelligence use ,to help respond to climate change. It's part of an investment by the National Science Foundation.

“We're building tool to respond to the extreme weather," he said. "We’re building tool to predict when there will be inundation, we’ve had operational models for the cold-stunnings. We're building tool to predict when coastal fog will take place."

You can read the full IPCC report here.

For the latest local news updatesclick here, or download the KRIS 6 News App.