Humans are changing the climate in profound ways, triggering rapid changes and increasing extreme events around the world, a much anticipated climate report released this morning warns. Some of these changes, particularly involving the oceans and polar regions, will be irreversible for millennia.

The climate assessments released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are a big deal. They’re the guidebooks many governments use as they plan their climate policies. The new report lays out climate changes so far and what’s ahead if greenhouse gas emissions continue at a high rate. Robert Kopp, a lead author of the chapter on ice and oceans, explains the findings and what they say about tipping points, sea level rise and the future.

Also today:

Stacy Morford

Environment + Climate Editor

What might seem like small changes, like a degree of warming, can have big consequences. AP Photo/John McConnico

Profound changes are underway in Earth’s oceans and ice, new IPCC climate report warns – one of the authors explains the findings

Robert Kopp, Rutgers University

Some of the climate changes will be irreversible for millennia. But some can be slowed and even stopped if countries quickly reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, including from burning fossil fuels.

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