The United National scientific panel has released a report explaining the eminent risks of climate change and it’s not pretty.
“We have a closing window of opportunity,” said one of the study’s co-author Patricia Romero-Lankao of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Colorado. “We do have choices. We need to act now.”
The 49-page report paints a picture of what the global consequences of the continuing changes in climate due to human behavior and neglect of Earth’s natural resources will be.
Weather-wise, we can brace for more storms, draughts, floods and natural disasters as temperatures rise about six or seven degrees Fahrenheit (3.5 to four degrees Celsius) by 2100. It seems like a small enough number but according to the scientists who wrote the report, it will have a huge impact all over the world, melting the ice in Greenland, causing some places to have no drinking water, others to have too much rain and increasing the odds of storms like Katrina in 2005 to happen more often.
Those climate conditions will inevitably lead to political and social turmoil according to the report, which used over 12,000 scientific studies to draw its conclusions. Hunger will become more widespread, poverty will increase and so will be price of food, making world peace a near impossible goal.
“We are going to see more and more impacts, faster and sooner than we had anticipated,” said Saleemul Huq, director of the International Centre for Climate Change and Development at the Independent University in Bangladesh and a study co-author. “Things are worse than we had predicted.”
“The report underscores the need for immediate action in order to avoid the most severe impacts of climate change,” said John Holdren, the presidential science advisor for the White House and the Obama administration is a written statement.
This is the fifth report the United Nations has released, the latest in 2007, and it is by far the most comprehensive and alarmist of all. While it doesn’t dictate what country leaders should do, it does call for urgent action.
“We are pointing for reasons for alarm” said the panel vice chairman, Jean-Pascal van Ypersele. “It’s because the facts and the science and the data show that there are reasons to be alarmed. It’s not because we’re alarmist.”
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