What you should know about the IPCC report on climate change

Many may not even be aware that the latest U.N. report on climate change exists, much less that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) report issued some serious and scary issues for the future of the planet. The IPCC report on climate change is something that more should be paying attention to and researching in terms of ways we can solve the problems it raises for the future health of our planet.

The reports behind climate change show concern for the future of our world. (Credit: Ian McPherson)

The reports behind climate change show concern for the future of our world. (Credit: Ian McPherson)

Key takeaways on climate change

Not interested in delving into the volumes of research necessary to understand what the IPCC report on climate change is saying? John Light distills what you need to know in his blog post for billmoyers.com, “Five Key Takeaways From the Frightening IPCC Climate Change Report” posted on March 31, 2014, about the U.N. report.

1.  Food supply will be affected. Crop yields will decline as the world’s population increases.

2.  Poor and rich will feel it. Certainly, those with less will be hit harder, but no one will be immune from natural disasters and food shortages.

3.  Stability will decrease worldwide. A dwindling food supply coupled with an increase in natural disasters will exacerbate tensions in already-tense areas.”

4.  Wealthy countries won’t foot the bill. The World Bank believes that poor countries will need about $100 billion a year to offset the effects of climate change, a figure wealthier nations seem not to be interested in supplying.

5.  The chance to change could happen this year. World leaders are slated to meet this fall in New York City for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change where they could cut emissions.

World not prepared

According to “’Climate Change Action Is a Must’ World’s Ill-Prepared for Impacts, Says Key Report” by Emily Beament for the Daily Post (Liverpool, England) on April 1, 2014, there are a litany of problems that people are already dealing with around the world, according to the IPCC report on climate change.

Water resources have declined due to melting glaciers and decreases in rainfall, which has in turn affected the food supply. Heat-related deaths may be on the rise, while damage to the coral reefs and increased wildfires have been documented as a result of rising temperatures. Beament added, “Recent extremes such as heat waves, droughts, floods and wildfires show how vulnerable humans are to variations in climate, the study warned.”

What now?

With all the dire warnings, many are left to wonder what happens next. Those who deny climate change is occurring feel that making the necessary changes to emissions and other efforts to reduce the use of fossil fuels will damage the worlds’ economies. In “After IPCC Report, What’s Next for Climate Groups” on April 23, 2014, for U.S. News & World Report, Alan Neuhauser wrote that even the IPCC is unsure of what to do next to motivate people to change.

He quoted Daniel J. Weiss, senior fellow and director of climate strategy at the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank, who argues “the IPCC reports’ most effective role may actually be as a long-term “tool” for advocates.”

More reports from the IPCC are coming throughout 2014, according to Neuhauser — “a National Climate Assessment of how global warming has been affecting different regions of the U.S. is expected to come out in May, and the EPA is set to unveil its new emissions rules for existing power plants in June.”

Hopefully these reports from the U.N. will spur world leaders to action to make changes, while buying scientists and other researchers time to find solutions to slow down the damage we have already created in terms of climate change.

Want to learn more? Check out Questia—particularly the section on climate change

How worried are you about climate change? What steps should countries be taking to stop future repercussions? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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