The latest report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is a "clear and loud alarm bell" for humanity's future says one of its authors.
Professor Mark Howden is a vice-chair of the IPCC and one of the contributing authors to its Sixth Assessment Report, released this week, August 9, which made clear that global temperatures were on the rise.
The director of the Australian National University's Institute for Climate, Energy and Disaster Solutions said the world may warm by 1.5 degrees Celsius (above pre-industrial levels) by the early 2030s and global temperature increases could climb as high as 5.7 degrees Celsius this century.
"The more we know about climate change, the more we should be concerned," Professor Howden said.
Bushfire Survivors for Climate Action president and Bega Valley Shire councillor Jo Dodds said, "there is no good news about climate change".
"Everything we hear from every reliable source tells us this risk is escalating rapidly. If we aren't able to stop at 1.5 degrees and instead climb as high this century as the ANU research suggests, my understanding is that this will be the end of human life on this planet," Ms Dodds said.
Professor Howden said the report was a clear and loud alarm bell.
"It makes clear the impacts of climate change are accumulating almost every day; we're already seeing worsening temperature extremes such as marine heatwaves that cause coral bleaching and heatwaves on land with dangerous consequences for human health," he said.
"If we don't start to reduce our emissions significantly before 2050, the world is extremely likely to exceed 2 degrees Celsius of warming during the 21st Century.
"Reducing emissions from the 2020s onwards and reaching net zero before the 2050s is really our best chance at keeping temperature increases below 1.5 degrees Celsius."
According to Professor Howden, the new IPCC report confirmed it was not possible to achieve the low level of warming aimed for in the Paris Agreement unless we stop emitting high levels of greenhouse gases.
"Fortunately, there are many emerging opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions," Professor Howden said.
"This includes transitioning to 100 per cent renewable energy as rapidly as possible, decarbonising transport, reducing emissions from agriculture, and drawing down and storing atmospheric greenhouse gas emissions."
Ms Dodds believes our survival as a species, and every other species on the planet, relies on us preventing reaching a tipping point.
"We don't know what nature sets as the tipping point. Every action we take to hold decision makers and government to account is critically important to the lives of our children and grandchildren," she said.
Aware that the magnitude of the situation and a sense of despair can prevent people from taking action, Ms Dodds suggested joining a climate-focused group to get better guidance on what was going to be the most effective action to take.
"We need to take it seriously. By joining a group, there is a multiplier effect on the power of the action you take," she said.
"Changing light bulbs and recycling, a domestic response to climate change is not enough. Get into a space where you are trying to impact decisionmakers at top level if you want to participate in making change.
"There is a direct correlation between the profits of the fossil fuel industry and the misery caused to those who have lost a loved one, a farm or a family home as a result of bushfire. This cost is being paid by ordinary Aussies.
"It's a real and extraordinary moment in the history of humankind to be alive now, this is the big point where humanity gets to decide are we smart enough to avoid this, or will we be driven over the edge."
"We as a community and as a shire need to throw a lot more at mitigating climate change. We need to transition to other fuels and energy sources," she said.
"My hope is because of where we live and the environment here and the fact we have a community that does understand what's at stake, we are in a good position to actually address the crisis as well as can be expected.
"I want state and federal governments to to turn their focus to understanding that the urgent cessation of greenhouse gas emissions is the only way to stop the unfolding disaster.
"We need to stop playing politics on an issue of physics and recognise that natures deadline and tipping points are not going to change to give us the benefit of more time," Ms Dodds said.
Meanwhile, Ms Dodds is this week attending the NSW Land and Environment Court on behalf of Bushfire Survivors for Climate Action, lobbying for the NSW EPA to develop appropriate climate change policies, on the basis that links between greenhouse gas emissions and climate impacts are clear and there is now a necessity to urgently reduce emissions.