Climate Impacts Poised to Decimate Human and Earth Systems, says Leaked IPCC Draft


A draft of a global scientific review on how human and natural systems are expected to respond to the growing threat of climate change has been leaked and its contents—though not wholly unexpected to those who have followed climate science news in recent years—are nonetheless both alarming and devastating.

Titled, Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability, the leaked document is the draft version of the second installment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's latest review of the global scientific consensus on the global warming and climate change.

The IPCC's first installment, released in September, reports:

  • mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”>Climate change will reduce renewable surface water and groundwater resources significantly in most dry subtropical regions, exacerbating competition for water among sectors
  • mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”>A large fraction of terrestrial and freshwater species faces increased extinction risk under projected climate change during and beyond the 21st century, especially as climate change interacts with other pressures, such as habitat modification, over-exploitation, pollution, and invasive species
  • mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”>Due to sea-level rise throughout the 21st century and beyond, coastal systems and low-lying areas will increasingly experience adverse impacts such as submergence, coastal flooding, and coastal erosion
  • mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”>By 2100, due to climate change and development patterns and without adaptation, hundreds of millions of people will be affected by coastal flooding and displaced due to land loss
  • mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”>Ocean acidification poses risks to ecosystems, especially polar ecosystems and coral reefs, associated with impacts on the physiology, behavior, and population dynamics of individual species
  • mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”>Without adaptation, local temperature increases of 1°C or more above preindustrial levels are projected to negatively impact yields for the major crops (wheat, rice, and maize) in tropical and temperate regions, although individual locations may benefit
  • mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”>Heat stress, extreme precipitation, inland and coastal flooding, and drought and water scarcity pose risks in urban areas for people, assets, economies, and ecosystems, with risks amplified for those lacking essential infrastructure and services or living in exposed areas
  • mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”>Major future rural impacts will be felt in the near-term and beyond through impacts on water supply, food security, and agricultural incomes, including shifts in production of food and non-food crops in many areas of the world
  • mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”>Global mean temperature increase of 2.5°C above preindustrial levels may lead to global aggregate economic losses between 0.2 and 2.0% of income
  • mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”>Until mid-century, climate change will impact human health mainly by exacerbating health problems that already exist (very high confidence), and climate change throughout the 21st century will lead to increases in ill-health in many regions, as compared to a baseline without climate change
  • mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”>Climate change indirectly increases risks from violent conflict in the form of civil war, inter-group violence, and violent protests by exacerbating well-established drivers of these conflicts such as poverty and economic shocks
  • mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”>Throughout the 21st century, climate change impacts will slow down economic growth and poverty reduction, further erode food security, and trigger new poverty traps, the latter particularly in urban areas and emerging hotspots of hunger 
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