The United Nations science group charged with the responsibility of studying climate change issued its latest report yesterday, November 2, 2014, on the problems the world faces with global warming and the news is not good. The new report comes just a month before international delegates convene in Lima, Peru, in an effort to devise a new global treaty or other agreement to limit emissions, and it makes clear the urgency of their task.
Appearing at a news conference in Copenhagen Sunday morning to unveil the report, the United Nations secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, issued an urgent appeal for strong action in Lima. “Science has spoken. There is no ambiguity in their message,” Mr. Ban declared. “Leaders must act. Time is not on our side.”
A core finding of the new report is that climate change is no longer a distant, future threat, but is being felt all over the world already. The group cited mass die-offs of forests, including those in the American West; the melting of land ice virtually everywhere in the world; an accelerating rise of the seas that is leading to increased coastal flooding; and heat waves that have devastated crops and killed tens of thousands of people.
A summary of the UN’s 175 page report is in the New York Times and is found here while the full UN report will be found here. And below are several important paragraphs from the NY Times article:
“ The gathering risks of climate change are so profound that they could stall or even reverse generations of progress against poverty and hunger if greenhouse emissions continue at a runaway pace, according to a major new United Nations report.
Despite growing efforts in many countries to tackle the problem, the global situation is becoming more acute as developing countries join the West in burning huge amounts of fossil fuels, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said here on Sunday.
Failure to reduce emissions, the group of scientists and other experts found, could threaten society with food shortages, refugee crises, the flooding of major cities and entire island nations, mass extinction of plants and animals, and a climate so drastically altered it might become dangerous for people to work or play outside during the hottest times of the year.”