January 30, 2007

Catastrophic Climate Disruption

It's here. This France24 headline and opener summed it up best:

Climate change means hunger and thirst for billions: report

Billions of people will suffer water shortages and the number of hungry will grow by hundreds of millions by 2080 as global temperatures rise, scientists warn in a new report.

The report estimates that between 1.1 billion and 3.2 billion people will be suffering from water scarcity problems by 2080 and between 200 million and 600 million more people will be going hungry. ...

The full report to be issued this Friday by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the first of four climate reports scheduled for release this year. With scientific certainty of climate change having a human origin having gone up from 66% to 90% since the last major report, the IPCC is pushing for a new international summit on climate change this September.

A Canadian scientist explains the gravity of the changes, just in case the prospect of hundreds of millions more people running the risk of starvation didn't quite pass the serious frakking problem threshold:

... The global temperature has warmed up by an average of 0.6 to 0.7 degrees, says Matthew Bramley, director for climate change of the Pembina Institute, a Canadian climate group.

That's measured from pre-industrial times, but most of the increase has happened in the past few decades, he says.

If the increase reaches two degrees, he warns, that's when major and disruptive changes in weather patterns will likely occur.

''When you say one degree or two degrees (of warmer average temperatures) - it doesn't mean much to many people,'' he says. ''It's important to understand that five degrees (Celsius) was enough to make the difference between our climate today and Ottawa having kilometres-thickness of ice'' during the last Ice Age. ...

Over at Daily Kos, the Cunctator has compiled a climate event calendar for this week, along with a healthy helping of graphs, charts and links that share the results of previous reporting on anthropogenic climate disruption.

Posted by natasha at January 30, 2007 08:25 AM | Environment | Technorati links |