Saturday, September 22, 2007

Impacts of global warming on agriculture being realized now according to UN body

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (or IPCC) was created by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to address the dangers presented by climate change.

A new report by the IPCC on Mitigating Climate Change is slated to be published in October of 2007 by Cambridge University Press, prior to publication, the IPCC has released a great deal of the report's information on the report's homepage.

The report provides mitigation strategies for the energy sector, transportation, construction, manufacturing, agriculture, forestry, and waste disposal industries.

The summary for policy-makers is available as a PDF. The entire report is available online in a pre-print version.

The Guardian's David Adam reports on the disquieting news being issued by the panel on how fast the impacts of global warming are coming upon society.
Speaking at a meeting to launch the full report on the impacts of global warming by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Professor Parry, co-chairman of the IPCC working group that wrote the report, said: "We are all used to talking about these impacts coming in the lifetimes of our children and grandchildren. Now we know that it's us."

He added politicians had wasted a decade by focusing only on ways to cut emissions, and had only recently woken up to the need to adapt. "Mitigation has got all the attention, but we cannot mitigate out of this problem. We now have a choice between a future with a damaged world or a severely damaged world."

The international response to the problem has failed to grasp that serious consequences such as reduced crop yields and water shortages are now inevitable...

"Wheat production in India is already in decline, for no other reason than climate change. Everyone thought we didn't have to worry about Indian agriculture for several decades. Now we know it's being affected now." There are signs a similar shift is under way in China, he added....

[The IPCC report] says extreme weather events are likely to become more intense and more frequent, and the effect on ecosystems could be severe, with up to 30% of plant and animal species at risk of extinction if the average rise in global temperatures exceeds 1.5C-2.5C. The consequences of rising temperatures are already being felt on every continent, it adds.|How climate change will affect the world - Guardian|

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