Saturday, April 07, 2007

United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report Predicts 3 Degrees Centigrade of Global Warming This Century

A new global warming report issued Friday by the UN paints a gloomy picture: more than 1 billion people in desperate need of water, extreme food shortages in Africa, a blighted landscape ravaged by fires and floods, and millions of species becoming extinct.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appealed to all nations to make "decisive efforts" to alleviate the consequences of global warming. As we all know, the report released in Brussels by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), stated that warmer global temperatures have been causing profound changes in earth's natural systems.
UN Secretary-General Ban stated concern that climatic changes are increasingly noticeable, and they likely to become more noticeable in the future, as extreme weather events intensify.

The earth is likely to warm by 3 degrees centigrade during this century, a temperature that would have largely negative consequences for biodiversity and ecosystem goods and services, such as water and food supply, and extinction of species appears to be increasingly at risk where there are global average temperature changes in that temperature range.

Also, springtime run-off and glacier discharge results in an early spring, which causes vegetation to green earlier. Plant and animal species are shifting to higher altitudes. Although the report, to my knowledge, did not mention bees, it's interesting that the bees have basically disappeared this year from North America. The IPCC predicts that by mid-century, the annual average river runoff and water availability will increase by 10-40 per cent at high latitudes and in some wet tropical areas, while decreasing by 10-30 per cent in some dry regions at mid-latitudes and in the dry tropics. Also, instances of draught are to increase, as well as reduced water availability for regions using glacier-fed rivers for drinking water (which is about 1/6 of the world's population).