The latest IPCC report is unequivocal: The effects of climate change are already occurring on all continents and across the oceans, and the world is mostly ill-prepared for the risks from a changing climate.
Released yesterday, the report concludes that responding to climate change involves making choices about risks. Future risks from a changing climate will be smaller if immediate action is taken to prevent rising temperatures, while the likelihood of severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts will be difficult to avoid if greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise.
Not only does the report explain in detail the scientific evidence of climate change – melting sea ice in the Arctic, dying coral reefs in the oceans, extreme weather such as heat waves and heavy rains – it also looks at the ways in which it will unfold in the future the world over.
Rising temperatures will threaten the global food supply as crop yields are predicted to decline even further over the next 50 years. The report warns that the combination of population growth, food shortages and rising food prices could lead to unrest. The report also looks at the threat that climate change poses to human security: Food and water shortages caused by climate change and climate refugees from extreme weather could cause future conflicts: Wars between states, conflicts between farmers and ranchers, between cities and the agriculture industry are all possible scenarios, reports the Guardian.
The report is also unequivocal that global climate change is a truly global problem. “Nobody on this planet is going to be untouched by the impacts of climate change,” said IPCC chair Rajendra Pachauri. Emissions will have to be cut now to slow warming, but ultimately adaptation will play a key role in decreasing the risks associated with climate change.
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