A world without glaciers - How can scientists contribute to enhancing climate ambition, in Switzerland and beyond?

Submitted by Julia Barrott | published 26th May 2022 | last updated 28th Jul 2022
Photo by René Reichelt on Unsplash

Glacier in the French Alps. Photo by René Reichelt on Unsplash

Monday, 1 November, 2021 - 17:15 to 18:45 (Europe/Zurich)

Summary

Glaciers, snow cover and permafrost are disappearing all over the world as a result of global warming. Faced with this emergency, scientists are working to improve the physical science underpinning past, present and future climate change, thus contributing to an ever-strengthening understanding of how the climate system works, and how it is changing in response to human activity.

What are the new scientific findings emerging from WGI of the Sixth Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)? What are the consequences for mountain and polar regions? What risks will Switzerland be exposed to in the near future? What are the new strategies that can be adopted to reduce risk?

On the basis of the most recent IPCC findings (focus on Working Group 1) presented by the keynote speakers, the panelists discuss how to raise the ambition level for achieving COP26 tangible outcomes. They discuss what new scientific evidence is needed to improve climate policies, in Switzerland and beyond, and the role of scientists in public debates, political decision-making and collective action.

Watch the recording of this event below. This event is also available to watch in French here.

You can also read a blog summarising the event by  Julien Michellod and Gianni Tassotti, from UNIGE.

COP26 / 1er novembre - VO from MykiStudio on Vimeo.

Speakers:

Moderator: Claire Doole

Key messages

"What happens in the Arctic does not stay in the Arctic" - Ambassador Stefan Estermann.

  • If the cryosphere disappears, the whole humanity is going to be impacted.
  • Analysis of regional impacts and possible remedy actions have to take central stage now.
  • A significantly disturbed water cycle renders impacts for mountain communities extremely challenging, and reducing the effects of global warming is becoming a global emergency. 
  • We need to bridge geopolitical differences to enhance climate change adaptation capacity and to improve the science-policy dialogue.
  • Current policies, climate forecasts are pointing to a temperature increase of 2.4°C compared to the preindustrial era... Immediate, rapid, and large-scale reductions in greenhouse gas emissions to limit climate warming and its negative impacts are needed.

Find more insights from this event in A WORLD WITHOUT GLACIERS - HOW CAN SCIENTISTS CONTRIBUTE TO ENHANCING CLIMATE AMBITION, IN SWITZERLAND AND BEYOND? by Julien Michellod and Gianni Tassotti.