Global warming risks “severe, widespread and irreversible”, says IPCC

Warns both frequency and intensity of extreme weather such as floods, and droughts will go up

By Rajit Sengupta
Published: Saturday 04 July 2015


Climate change is here and its impact will be “severe, widespread and irreversible” unless the world takes urgent action, the United Nations has warned in a leaked draft report accessed by Bloomberg.

The effects of greenhouse gas emissions by human activities “might already be considered dangerous”, says the draft of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report.

It warns that both the frequency and intensity of extreme weather such as floods, heat waves and droughts will go up. “Without additional mitigation, and even with adaptation, warming by the end of the 21st century will lead to high to very high risk of severe, widespread, and irreversible impacts globally,” the report says.

The leaked document is the draft of a “synthesis” report bringing together the findings of three previous IPCC reports into the science, impacts and ways of tackling climate change. Media reports say the final draft, which has been sent to governments, has no additional information, but the language is harsher and explicitly blames the use of fossil fuels.

“Continued emission of greenhouse gases will cause further warming and long-lasting changes in all components of the climate system, increasing the likelihood of severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems,” the report says. The final report will be issued after governments and scientists go over the draft line by line in an October conference in Copenhagen.


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