IPCC report predicts bleak future

Published: Monday 30 April 2007

the report of the working group of the un's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, released on April 6, 2007, predicts a bleak future with severe effects in poor countries.

Increased water stress, rising droughts and floods and 40 per cent species extinction are the report's key concerns. The 2,500 experts body, after analysing over 1,000 studies, says the tropics and high latitudes will get wetter and the mid latitude and semi-arid regions will face drier years. Glacial melt in the Himalayas will increase. Africa will face increased water stress with North America witnessing increase in aggregate yields of rainfed agriculture by 5 to 20 per cent, it said. Fresh water availability in the larger basins will decrease, affecting more than a billion people by 2050 and 30 per cent of the global coastal wetlands will be lost.

The report calls for manifold adaptations at 'technological, managerial, behavioural and policy' levels. Developing countries are expected to experience larger losses, with global mean losses being 1-5 per cent of the gdp for 4c of global warming, it said.

Many believe the final report has been diluted significantly since governments too participated in shaping the report. The first report came out in February 2, 2007 in Paris. David Wasdell, a climate change analyst from the uk who was a reviewer of the report said in New Scientist (March 10, 2007) that the draft report had warned that natural systems such as rain forests, soils and oceans would be less able to absorb green house gases (ghg), leading to 1.2 degrees of added warming by 2100. This point was struck out of the final report, he said. The report acknowledges the decreasing ability of the natural systems to absorb ghg, but is vague on its exact climate impacts.

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