Monday, 31 March 2014

Global warming - 'no one will escape untouched'

‘Nobody on this planet is going to be untouched by the impacts of climate change.’ So said Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, as the panel’s latest report warns of ‘severe, pervasive and irreversible’ effects.

The dangers it anticipates include greater flooding in some areas, along with water shortages in others. It foresees declining crop yields just as the world’s population races up to 9 billion. The panel says the amount of evidence on the effects of global warming has doubled since its last report in 2007.

There are plenty of people who still deny that climate change represents a threat at all, but this latest IPCC report has been criticised by others for being too optimistic. Apparently a view has been taken that if the panel paints too gloomy a picture, politicians will just give up trying to do anything.

The report is based on more than 12,000 peer-reviewed scientific studies, and is said to be the most comprehensive assessment ever of the threat to the world from global warming. 

*See my book Flood: Nature and Culture for more on how global warming may increase the risk of flooding.

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