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Articles by Damian Carrington

Damian Carrington is head of environment at The Guardian.

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A man walks towards destroyed houses in Schuld near Bad Neuenahr in western Germany. Heavy rains and floods that lashed western Europe in July have killed at least 42 people in Germany and left many more missing.

This story was originally published by The Guardian and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

“​​It is unequivocal.” Those stark three words are the first in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s new report. The climate crisis is unequivocally caused by human activities and is unequivocally affecting every corner of the planet’s land, air and sea already.

The report, produced by hundreds of the world’s top scientists, with sign off by all the world’s governments, concludes that it could get far worse if the slim chance remaining to avert heating above 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) is not immediately grasped.

The scientific language of the report is cold and clear but cannot mask the heat and chaos that global heating is unleashing on the world. We have already caused 1 degree C (1.8 degrees F) of heating, getting perilously close to the 1.5 degrees C danger limit agreed in the Paris climate deal. Downpours of rain have been accelerating since the 1980s.

Accelerating melting of ice has poured trillions of tonnes of water into the oceans, where oxygen levels are falling – suffocating the seas... Read more

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