2014 SkS News Bulletin #2: IPCC Report (WG II)

Climate change action is the best insurance policy in world history

As someone living in the rich west, I am far from unusual in insuring my life, my house, my travel, my teeth and even my dog. What I do not have, and what the new landmark report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change makes very clear is urgently needed, is global warming insurance.

While I am happy to pay relatively small premiums to protect myself from the remote chance of my house collapsing or losing a suitcase, the world - so far - has been unwilling to pay the small premium needed to protect against far more likely and more devastating risks. The new IPCC report, the consensus of hundreds of the best scientists on the planet and signed off by the world's governments, set outs the impacts of global warming and focuses on risk for the first time. The report details what we'd get in our climate change insurance policy: a reduction in the risk of the following:

Climate change action is the best insurance policy in world history by Damian Carrington, Environment Blog, The Guardian, Mar 31, 2014 

Climate change 'already affecting food supply' 

Climate change has already cut into the global food supply and is fuelling wars and natural disasters, but governments are unprepared to protect those most at risk, according to a report from the UN's climate science panel.

The report is the first update in seven years from the UN's international panel of experts, which is charged with producing the definitive account of climate change.

In that time, climate change has ceased to be a distant threat and made an impact much closer to home, the report's authors say. "It's about people now," said Virginia Burkett, the chief scientist for global change at the US geological survey and one of the report's authors. "It's more relevant to the man on the street. It's more relevant to communities because the impacts are directly affecting people – not just butterflies and sea ice."

Climate change 'already affecting food supply' – UN by Susanne Goldenberg, the Guardian, Mar 30, 2014

Climate change a threat to security, food and humankind

A United Nations report raised the threat of climate change to a whole new level on Monday, warning of sweeping consequences to life and livelihood.

The report from the UN's intergovernmental panel on climate change concluded that climate change was already having effects in real time – melting sea ice and thawing permafrost in the Arctic, killing off coral reefs in the oceans, and leading to heat waves, heavy rains and mega-disasters.

And the worst was yet to come. Climate change posed a threat to global food stocks, and to human security, the blockbuster report said.

“Nobody on this planet is going to be untouched by the impacts of climate change,” said Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the IPCC.

Climate change a threat to security, food and humankind - IPCC report by Suzanne Goldenberg, The Guardian, Mar 31, 2014

IPCC climate report sounds humanitarian 'clarion call'

The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), published today, is not just another scientific assessment. Its careful wording reflects an increased emphasis on risk: the risks we face today and our choices about the ones we face in the future. From the IPCC’s sober scientific assessment, several stark humanitarian messages emerge.

The first is the strong confirmation that risks have been rising in recent decades. It is a message that has long been clear to millions of Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers around the world on the front line of the changing climate, assisting the most vulnerable people.

IPCC climate report sounds humanitarian 'clarion call', Op-ed by Tadateru Konoe, IFRC President, Thomson Reuters Foundation, Mar 30, 2014

Little time left to turn down the world's heat, U.N. says

Your forecast for the next century: Hotter, drier and hungrier, and the chance to turn down the thermostat is slipping away.

That's the latest conclusion from the United Nations, which urged governments to address the "increasingly clear" threats posed by a warming climate before some options are closed off for good. The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded that taking steps to reduce the carbon dioxide emissions blamed for rising temperatures could buy more time to adjust to a warmer world.

Cutting emissions now "increases the time available for adaptation to a particular level of climate change," the report states. But it adds, "Delaying mitigation actions may reduce options for climate-resilient pathways in the future."

Little time left to turn down the world's heat, U.N. says by Matt Smith and Brandon Miller, CNN, Mar 31, 204

More flooding, hunger ahead due to climate change

Soaring carbon emissions will amplify the risk of conflict, hunger, floods and mass migration this century, the UN's expert panel said Monday in a landmark report on the impact of climate change.

Left unchecked, greenhouse gas emissions may cost trillions of dollars in damage to property and ecosystems, and in bills for shoring up climate defences, it said, adding the impact would increase with every additional degree that temperatures rise.

"Increasing magnitudes of warming increase the likelihood of severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts," a summary said, in a stark message to policymakers.

More flooding, hunger ahead due to climate change, AFP/Discovery News, Mar 31, 2014

Terrifying report of what we're doing to planet Earth

The impacts of climate change are likely to be "severe, pervasive, and irreversible," the chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said Sunday night in Yokohama, Japan, as the world's leading climate experts released a new survey of how our planet is likely to change in the near future, and what we can do about it.

Here's what you need to know: 

If This Terrifying Report Doesn't Wake You Up to the Realities of What We're Doing to This Planet, What Will? by Tim McDonnell, Jeremy Schulman, and James West, Mother Jones, Mar 30, 2014

The food-pocalypse is already upon us 

But change isn't easy – especially not tectonic changes to the Earth. The final wording arrived today, and the IPCC report's most alarming projections make clear what many other studies have warned: the future of agriculture – of global hunger, of your grocery bill – is screwed. Or as UN secretary general Ban-Ki Moon put it rather more politely when he inaugurated the first rounds of the IPCC report last September: "The heat is on. We must act."

Think the new climate report is scary? The food-pocalypse is already upon us by Richard Schiffman, the Guardian, Mar 31, 2014

The hellish monotony of 25 years of IPCC climate change warnings 

Now more than 25 years after scientists started compiling that first report, the latest report is similarly alarming - just with added impacts and greater certainty.

As The Guardian reports, the IPCC now says climate change is already cutting into food supplies and has the ability to fuel conflict.

So for the sheer hellish monotony of it all, let's go through a quarter of a century of warnings from the IPCC about the impacts of human-caused climate change. 

The hellish monotony of 25 years of IPCC climate change warnings by Graham Readfearn, Planet OZ, The Guardian, Mar 30, 2014

U.N. climate report offers lots of bummer news

Climate change has broken down the floodgates, pervading every corner of the globe and affecting every inhabitant. That was perhaps the clearest message from the newest report of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — the latest in a conga line of warnings about the need to radically and immediately reduce our use of fossil fuels.

Published Sunday, it’s the second installment of the IPCC’s fifth climate report. The first installment was released last September; the third comes out next month. (If you’re wondering WTF the IPCC even is, here’s an explainer.) This latest installment catalogues climate impacts that are already being felt around the world, including floods, heat waves, rising seas, and a slowing in the growth of crop yields:

U.N. climate report offers lots of bummer news plus a few dollops of encouragement by John Upton, Grist, Mar 31, 2114

World ill-prepared for rising climate risks, but adaptation helps

The risks to people and the planet from climate change are growing, and the world is still poorly prepared to manage those risks even though it has learned more about how to adapt, a scientific report from the United Nations' climate panel said on Monday.

The report, issued by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), observed that, in recent decades, changes in climate have caused impacts on natural and human systems "on all continents and across the oceans". These range from melting glaciers to falling wheat and maize yields, food price spikes, deaths from heat waves, and harsh humanitarian consequences from climate-linked disasters.

World ill-prepared for rising climate risks, but adaptation helps - IPCC report by Megan Rowling, Reuters, Mar 31, 2014

World not ready for climate change

On Monday morning in Japan (Sunday evening on the U.S. East Coast), the world's leading body of climate scientists will release a major report on the impacts of climate change, with the goal of spurring world leaders to act more decisively to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

"Observed impacts of climate change are widespread and consequential," the scientists of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) write in a draft version of the new report, which was leaked online. The final report is being released as the IPCC meets in Yokohama, Japan.

World Not Ready for Climate Change, New Report Says by Brian Clark Howard, National Geographic, Mar 29, 2014

Worst is yet to come

Climate change is already having sweeping effects on every continent and throughout the world’s oceans, scientists reported Monday, and they warned that the problem is likely to grow substantially worse unless greenhouse emissions are brought under control.

The report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a United Nations group that periodically summarizes climate science, concluded that ice caps are melting, sea ice in the Arctic is collapsing, water supplies are coming under stress, heat waves and heavy rains are intensifying, coral reefs are dying, and fish and many other creatures are migrating toward the poles or in some cases going extinct.

Panel’s Warning on Climate Risk: Worst Is Yet to Come  by Justin Gillis, New York Times, Mar 30, 2014

Posted by John Hartz on Tuesday, 1 April, 2014

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