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Pattaya Daily News

09 April 2007 :: 11:04:01 am 30917

IPCC Report Spells Out The Stark Implications Of Global Climate Change.

On Friday, April 7th the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) left us in no doubt that radical climate change is upon us, with a vengeance. The IPCC, consisting of 2,500 scientists, the global authority on climate change, maintained in its report that all regions of the planet would suffer from a sharp warming and the severest hit would be the poor, both in the developing and developed nations.
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The conclusions of the report indicated an increase in:
1. desertification,
2. droughts and
3. rising seas
4. starvation in Africa
5. thawing of glaciers in the Himalayas. 

            The most vulnerable area is in the tropics, from sub-Saharan Africa to Pacific islands where the impact would be the greatest. The report confirmed that climate change was caused by burning fossil fuels which produce greenhouse gases. 

            Those who would suffer most were the poverty stricken. “It’s the poorest of the poor in the world, and this includes poor people even in prosperous societies, who are going to be the worst hit,” said Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). “This does become a global responsibility in my view.” Reuters reported. 

            In Africa, failing crops spell out hunger for millions. It is also highly likely that Himalayan glaciers, sources and feeders of rivers in Asia from India to China will rapidly thaw and Europe and North America will suffer heat-waves. 

            This was a report that should impel governments to act. “The urgency of this report…should be matched with an equally urgent response by governments,” said Hans Verolme of the WWF conservation group, according to Reuters. 

            Some governments were still proving intransigent, however, and some members of the scientific fraternity accused them of diluting the fact that climate change was already under way and severely damaging nature. The US Administration which pulled out of U.N.’s Kyoto Protocol in 2001, the main U.N. plan for capping greenhouse gas emissions, beyond 2012, still prefers to tackle limiting carbon dioxide emissions independently rather than support global mandatory caps. However, democratic elements in the government cited the report as further evidence that the U.S. had to act swiftly on global warming. 

            China, Russia and Saudi Arabia had apparently raised most objections overnight during the finalization of the report’s text and sought to diminish the findings, including those about the likely pace of extinctions. 

            The United States, objected to the assertion that parts of North America could suffer “severe economic damage” from climate change. However, there was virtual unanimity that African nations would probably have to spend 5 to 10 percent of gross domestic product on adapting to climate change

            Overall, the IPCC report was the most crucial U.N. assessment so far of the threat of climate change, predicting water shortages that would likely affect billions of people and a rise in ocean levels that could go on for centuries, bringing chaos in its wake, especially to those living in coastal regions.

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : PDN staff   Category : World News

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