The most recent assessment report on the state of climate science, released last week by the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change, or IPCC, eliminates any remaining shred of doubt about the anthropogenic origins of global warming, calling the evidence of human activity’s responsibility “unequivocal.” The report also identifies how quickly humanity needs to slash emissions to avoid catastrophe, given the accumulated stock of greenhouse gases already present in the atmosphere. Under any conceivable scenario, average temperatures will continue to rise for decades to come. The magnitude of that rise is up to us. Unfortunately, the window to prevent massive dislocation and suffering is closing fast.

The long-anticipated assessment report is the sixth issued since 1990 and the first since 2014. It draws on inputs from and reflects the judgments of 234 scientists as well as more than 14,000 research papers on the…

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