IPCC Climate Change Report

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An alarming new climate change report from the IPCC has warned that global warming is going to have an increasing impact on the everyday lives of people around the world. As is so often the case the burden will fall most heavily on the most vulnerable in society, with the poor, weak and elderly standing to lose out most.

The climate change report, which took 300 scientists several years to put together, outlines a number of  the “severe, pervasive and irreversible” impacts of increased global warming. Increased ocean acidity will likely decimate coral reefs and leave endemic species vulnerable to extinction. As temperatures continue to rise animals and plants will be increasingly forced inland toward more mountainous terrain and will tend to migrate toward the poles. Crop yields of maize, rice and wheat will fall by 25% by 2050, with the trend predicted to worsen thereafter. The drop off in fish catches will be even more precipitous with projections suggesting a 50% reduction in Antarctic and Tropical waters.

The findings have been subjected to intensive levels of scientific scrutiny and have been hailed by Michel Jarraud of the World Meteorological Organisation as “the most solid evidence you can get in any scientific discipline”. A large part of the report’s significance lies in the fact that “Ignorance” about our influence on the climate can no longer be used as an excuse. Rajendra Pachauri’s stark warning that “nobody on this planet is going to be untouched by the impacts of climate change” should serve as a rallying call for renewed efforts to be made.

One of the authors, Dr Chris Field suggests a framework around which change can be built. He thinks that “the really big breakthrough in this report is the new idea of thinking about managing climate change as a problem in managing risks.” By breaking down the overarching problem of global warming into its constituent parts we can achieve attainable goals while all the time contributing to tackling the bigger problem. The future depicted in this climate change report is one we all want to avoid, so starting today let’s all do our little bit to ensure that we do.

Resources

IPCC Climate Change 2014 Synthesis Report Summary for Policymakers


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