A major U.N. report on climate change came out today that is highly critical of the slowness of governments to cut greenhouse emissions, and it mentions many severe risks that the countries of the world are facing due to adverse climate changes.
According to the U.N. report, every part of the planet is being affected by climate change, and yet the science on it has not spurred the governments of the world into enough action, quickly enough. Much more has to be done, if the worst affects stand a chance of being diminished.
The U.N. report on climate change by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was released early this Monday in Yokohama, Japan. The report has been called by USA Today the “most comprehensive climate change report ever created.”
According to Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change chairman, Rajendra Pachauri, in a Monday news conference, there will be “Nobody on this planet” who will “be untouched by the impacts of climate change.”
Among other criticisms that the U.N. report on climate change mentions is that the governments of the world have not developed any effective plans to deal with the rapidly-changing climate changes that are occurring.
Possible risks that the U.N. report on climate change mentions include coastal flooding, an increase in the amounts and severity of famines, inland flooding causing devastating damage to major metropolitan cities, and extreme storms that can take out the electrical grid for extended periods of time.
The U.N. report on climate change is titled Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability. It’s the second report in a series of four. Hundreds of the top climate change scientists around took part in preparing the report put out by the IPCC.
In the 49-page summary of the report, which government leaders unanimously approved, the word “risk” is mentioned five-and-a-half times a page on average.
The climate changes that are already occurring, according to the U.N. report, are affecting water supplies, agriculture, ecosystems, and human health from the poorest to the wealthiest countries in the world. Countries which are already experiencing stresses, such as poverty, civil war, and hunger, will see these stresses greatly elevated by the changes which are rapidly affecting the world’s climate.
The U.N. report holds out some degree of hope, stating that if strong action is taken by the governments of the world, at least some of the potential risks to the world caused by climate change could be reduced, and that people around the world could be protected from the risks — but, that’s only if strong action is taken now.
Berlin will be where the third U.N. report on climate change is scheduled to be released. That will happen next month, and is expected to bring yet more dire news about climate change. The reports serve as warnings, but if they go unheeded by the governments of the world, the risks which are already occurring will continue to increase.
The U.N. report on climate change is somewhat like a Biblical prophecy, one based on science. It mentions adverse climate changes, the cause of them — greenhouse gases — and the solution: strong government action. Earth is at a turning point, and if the world’s governments don’t act, the report states that the future will be even worse, and the impacts will likely be “severe, pervasive, and irreversible.”
The report mentions the date 2100, stating that if governments don’t strongly act to lessen the risks of climate change, coastal flooding could lead to land loss and the displacement of hundreds of millions of people.
The poor will be affected the most, and the U.N. report on climate change states that the adverse climate changes will “create new poverty pockets in upper-middle to high-income countries.” Also, according to the report, choices made by governments today “affect the risks of climate change throughout the 21st century.”
Will the governments of the world actually take further actions to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases? That remains to be seen. According to the U.N. report on climate change, the time for them to act is now. If they don’t take strong action, the report suggests that there will be much worse to come.
Written by: Douglas Cobb