REPORT: Climate change will be 'severe, pervasive and irreversible' to human race
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
3/31/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
There's been a meeting in Japan on climate change and the news coming out of it is uniformly grim. Scientists and officials now say that impacts of climate change include a higher risk of flooding and changes to crop yields and water availability.
"There is nothing inevitable about the worst impacts on people and nature," Dr. Chris Field says. We can cut emissions to reduce the risks of catastrophe and adapt to some changes that will inevitably occur. Photo: Polar Bear
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Experts say that "adaptation strategy" may help with the survival of the human race, but only within limits.
The construction of sea walls and levees to protect against flooding and the introduction of more efficient irrigation for farmers in drought-stricken areas are among the strategies.
Moreover a growing impact on human life is feared. In summation, our collective health, homes, food and safety are all likely to be threatened by rising temperatures.
A week of intense discussions in Yokohama, Japan included concerns among some authors about the tone of the evolving document. This is the second of a series from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change due out this year that outlines the causes, effects and solutions to global warming.
It must be noted, that the report's chair, Dr. Chris Field, is worried that an apocalyptic tone will frighten politicians so much that they'll abandon the Earth to its fate.
"There is nothing inevitable about the worst impacts on people and nature," Field says. We can cut emissions to reduce the risks of catastrophe and adapt to some changes that will inevitably occur.
Field also says we have to re-frame climate change as an exciting challenge for the most creative minds.
Some suggestions include putting local air pollution from, say coal, can also reduce carbon emissions that cause warming; creating decent homes for poor people in countries like Bangladesh can improve lives whilst removing them from the path of flood surges.
Some criticize Field's upbeat approach. But many politicians have gone deaf to the old-style warnings.
This latest Summary for Policymakers document highlights the fact that the amount of scientific evidence on the impacts of warming has almost doubled since the last report in 2007.
From the melting of glaciers or warming of permafrost, the summary highlights the fact that on all continents and across the oceans, changes in the climate have caused impacts on natural and human systems in recent years.
In the words of the report, "increasing magnitudes of warming increase the likelihood of severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts."
"Nobody on this planet is going to be untouched by the impacts of climate change," IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri told journalists at a news conference in Yokohama.
"Before this we thought we knew this was happening, but now we have overwhelming evidence that it is happening and it is real," Dr. Saleemul Huq, a convening lead author on one of the chapters, added.
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