News / Science & Technology

UN Panel: Humans Affecting Climate, Goverments Need Plans to Adapt

FILE - A flock of Geese fly past the smokestacks at the Jeffrey Energy Center coal power plant as the suns sets near Emmett, Kan.
FILE - A flock of Geese fly past the smokestacks at the Jeffrey Energy Center coal power plant as the suns sets near Emmett, Kan.
VOA News
A U.N. panel said humans are interfering with the Earth's climate, and that the effects touch every continent and the planet's oceans.

In a new report released Monday, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change highlighted the risks of a warming planet and said that in many cases the world is not well prepared.

Chris Field, a co-chair of the panel, said people and ecosystems around the world are already vulnerable.
 
Impacts Attributed to Climate Change.
Impacts Attributed to Climate Change.


"One of the most important findings is that we are not in the era where climate change is some kind of a future hypothetical. We live in a world where impacts of climate changes that have already occurred are widespread and consequential. We see impacts from the equators to the poles, and from the coast to the mountains. There is no question that we live in the world that already altered by climate change," said Field.

The report said the effects already observed include impacts on agriculture, human health, water supplies, and on both land and sea ecosystems. It says the more the planet warms, the greater the chance for severe impacts that may be irreversible.

Rajendra Pachauri, who heads the panel, stressed the wide-ranging nature of those impacts.

"We have assessed impacts as they are happening, and impacts on natural and human systems on all continents and oceans. And I would like to emphasize that, in view of these impacts and those that we have projected for the future, nobody on this planet is going to be untouched by the impacts of climate change," said Pachauri.

The report said the impacts of recent natural disasters have shown how countries "at all levels" lack preparedness for variability in climate, and advised governments to develop plans to adapt to climate change and to incorporate those policies into their broader development plans.

The panel cautioned that uncertainty about how severe the impacts will be and when they will hit make that planning more difficult to carry out, and that there is no single approach that is appropriate for dealing with risks across the planet.
x

It also highlighted the benefits of national and local governments working together to complement each other's actions, as well as the gains that can be found if cooperation stretches within and across regions.

The report said some of the risks are "considerable" if global temperatures rise to one or two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

The World Meteorological Organization is one of the U.N. organizations that set up the climate panel in the 1980s. It reported last week that 2013 was the sixth warmest year on record, and that 13 of the 14 warmest years on record have all happened this century.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement that the world needs to act "dramatically and quickly" or else our way of life will be in jeopardy. He said no one country caused climate change or can stop it, and that the costs of not acting are "catastrophic."
Level of additional risk due to climate changeLevel of additional risk due to climate change
x
Level of additional risk due to climate change
Level of additional risk due to climate change
The report Monday specifies a number of impacts for each region of the world for which scientists have "high confidence" will happen with a warming planet.

In Africa, the report predicted, warming will put greater stresses on water resources.

For Europe, the risks include increased flooding along coasts and river basins with economic impacts, as well as more restrictions on water.

It said Asia is at higher risk of heat-related deaths, along with water and food shortages brought on by droughts.

In North America, the panel also highlighted the effects of a warmer, drier climate, with increased risk of wildfires and deaths from the heat. It said urban flooding is also a concern.

Flooding is a risk for Central and South America, as well as the world's small islands. In both the Americas and Africa. The panel said there is a threat for the spread of so-called vector-borne diseases, which include things like malaria and Dengue fever.

The panel said overall risks would be substantially reduced if the rate and magnitude of any climate change is limited.

The report brings together contributions from hundreds of people in 70 countries.

The panel was the co-recipient of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for what the Nobel committee said was its efforts to "build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change."

You May Like

ASEAN Ministers Set to Push for South China Sea Agreements

According to documents obtained by VOA Khmer, ministers will stand up for 'freedom of navigation, unimpeded lawful maritime commerce, trade and over flight' More

Puerto Rico Defaults on $58M Debt Payment

Payment was due Saturday, default is first in country's 117 years as a United States possession More

Turkish Public Fears Jihadists More Than Kurds

Turkey facing twin threats of terrorism by Islamic State and PKK Kurdish separatists, says President Erdogan’s ruling AK Party More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Communityi
X
Sharon Behn
August 03, 2015 2:23 PM
A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs