Yesterday, UN scientists published the world’s largest ever report on climate change. The IPCC pulled together data from thousands of scientific studies to confirm that the climate crisis is man-made, and already here. Across every inhabited region of the world, we’re seeing sea levels rise, forests burn, and entire ecosystems collapse—with some change now inevitable and irreversible.
In the hours immediately following the release, many headlines (and timelines) have oscillated between doom and gloom. But though there is no doubt that things are very, very bad, the most important takeaway is that bold and urgent action can still make a difference. Indeed, it’s the only way to safety. “If we combine forces now, we can avert climate catastrophe. But, as today’s report makes clear, there is no time for delay, and no room for excuses,” says UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.
If you’re looking to better understand what this means for you, the report also includes one especially noteworthy innovation. For the first time, the IPCC has published an interactive atlas where you can explore your region’s potential climate future. This novel tool visualizes much of the observed and projected data underpinning the report, with variables that track changes in temperature, precipitation and even surface ozone. It allows you to move region by region, as well as across time, putting in stark relief what may happen some 20, 50, and 80 years from now.
The images revealed aren’t comforting, but they are useful. They also point to how collaborations like this—between creatives, scientists, technologists and mediamakers—can make crucial research more accessible to more people. Now, it is up to us to translate the current momentum into widespread action.
Learn more and explore the map at: interactive-atlas.ipcc.ch