PORTLAND, Ore. — Feel that heat? That is our future.
A massive report released this week by the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says we've passed the tipping point in many cases when it comes to global warming.
Rising sea levels, shrinking ice and much more extreme weather events like storms, droughts, and heat waves are all trends that have increased over the last several decades.
And according to hundreds of scientists who worked on the international report, these trends will get much worse in the future.
The IPCC report says earth's climate is getting so hot, the temperature limits set in the 2015 Paris climate agreement will be surpassed in about a decade.
"Looking into the future, we are continuing to look at the possibility of a really scary amount of warming," said Philip Mote, a climate scientist at Oregon State University (OSU).
Mote also worked on two previous IPCC reports since 2000. He said this latest one shocked even him
"You know, honestly, my heart sank," Mote said. "When you bundle eight years of new science and observations into one package, it really is a very sobering read."
The report found that as the planet warms, places will get hit more not just by extreme weather but by multiple climate disasters that occur simultaneously.
It also makes it clear that humans are to blame.
"Approximately 100% of the warming over the last 50 years is because of human activities," said Mote.
"They could not say it too strongly that we are in a climate crisis, a climate emergency," said OSU ecology professor William Ripple.
Ripple has long studied the climate crisis as well. He said this report sounds the alarm that we are running out of time.
He recently published his own report outlining solutions.
The first is to cut carbon emissions drastically.
"We're suggesting that we immediately start phasing out fossil fuels to an eventual ban on them, and the one thing that might help is to put a price on carbon," he said.
Second, his report calls for the development of global climate reserves — natural solutions like leaving forests uncut.
"We're calling them strategic climate reserves but these are really nature reserves to store and sequester carbon," Ripple said.
He added that it's also for critical schools to start adding climate change curriculum, because the future we leave for our children is one they will need to prepare for.