Warming report sees violent, sicker, poorer future (Update)

Nov 02, 2013 by Seth Borenstein
This July 23, 2011, file photo shows a Somali malnourished child from southern Somalia stands in front of a makeshift shelter in Mogadishu, Somalia. Starvation, poverty, flooding, heat waves, droughts, war and disease already lead to human tragedies. They're likely to worsen as the world warms from man-made climate change, a leaked draft of an international scientific report forecasts. Water—too much and too little—and heat are the biggest risks for Europe, South America and Asia, with South America and Asia having to deal with drought-related food shortages. Africa gets those risks and more: starvation, pests and disease. (AP Photo/Mohamed Sheikh Nor, File)

Starvation, poverty, flooding, heat waves, droughts, war and disease already lead to human tragedies. They're likely to worsen as the world warms from man-made climate change, a leaked draft of an international scientific report forecasts.

The Nobel Peace Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will issue a report next March on how global warming is already affecting the way people live and what will happen in the future, including a worldwide drop in income. A leaked copy of a draft of the summary of the report appeared online Friday on a climate skeptic's website. Governments will spend the next few months making comments about the draft.

"We've seen a lot of impacts and they've had consequences," Carnegie Institution climate scientist Chris Field, who heads the report, told The Associated Press on Saturday. "And we will see more in the future."

Cities, where most of the world now lives, have the highest vulnerability, as do the globe's poorest people.

"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," the report says. "Climate change will exacerbate poverty in low- and lower-middle income countries and create new poverty pockets in upper-middle to high-income countries with increasing inequality."

For people living in poverty, the report says, "climate-related hazards constitute an additional burden."

The report says scientists have high confidence especially in what it calls certain "key risks":

—People dying from warming- and sea rise-related flooding, especially in big cities.

—Famine because of temperature and rain changes, especially for poorer nations.

—Farmers going broke because of lack of water.

—Infrastructure failures because of extreme weather.

—Dangerous and deadly heat waves worsening.

—Certain land and marine ecosystems failing.

"Human interface with the climate system is occurring and climate change poses risks for human and natural systems," the 29-page summary says.

This Aug. 24, 2013 file photo shows firefighter John Curtis, of Big Bear, Calif., watching the Rim Fire burn near Yosemite National Park, Calif. Starvation, poverty, flooding, heat waves, droughts, war and disease already lead to human tragedies. They're likely to worsen as the world warms from man-made climate change, a leaked draft of an international scientific report forecasts. For North America, the highest risks over the long term are from wildfires, heat waves and flooding. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

None of the harms talked about in the report is solely due to global warming nor is climate change even the No. 1 cause, the scientists say. But a warmer world, with bursts of heavy rain and prolonged drought, will worsen some of these existing effects, they say.

For example, in disease, the report says until about 2050 "climate change will impact human health mainly by exacerbating health problems that already exist" and then it will lead to worse health compared to a future with no futher warming.

If emissions of carbon dioxide from the burning of coal, oil and gas continue at current trajectories, "the combination of high temperature and humidity in some areas for parts of the year will compromise normal human activities including growing food or working outdoors," the report says.

Scientists say the global economy may continue to grow, but once the global temperature hits about 3 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than now, it could lead to worldwide economic losses between 0.2 and 2.0 percent of income.

In this Sept. 2001 file photo provided by provided by Queensland Tourism, an aerial view shows the Great Barrier Reef off Australia's Queensland state. Starvation, poverty, flooding, heat waves, droughts, war and disease already lead to human tragedies. They're likely to worsen as the world warms from man-made climate change, a leaked draft of an international scientific report forecasts. Australia and New Zealand get the unique risk of losing their coral reef ecosystems, and small island nations have to be worried about being inundated by rising seas. (AP Photo/Queensland Tourism, File) EDITORIAL USE ONLY

One of the more controversial sections of the report involves climate change and war.

"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," the report says.

Pennsylvania State University climate scientist Michael Mann, who wasn't part of the international study team, told the AP that the report's summary confirms what researchers have known for a long time: "Climate change threatens our health, land, food and water security."

The summary went through each continent detailing risks and possible ways that countries can adapt to them.

For North America, the highest risks over the long term are from wildfires, heat waves and flooding. Water—too much and too little—and heat are the biggest risks for Europe, South America and Asia, with South America and Asia having to deal with drought-related food shortages. Africa gets those risks and more: starvation, pests and disease. Australia and New Zealand get the unique risk of losing their coral reef ecosystems, and small island nations have to be worried about being inundated by rising seas.

Field said experts paint a dramatic contrast of possible futures, but because countries can lessen some of the harms through reduced fossil fuel emissions and systems to cope with other changes, he said he doesn't find working on the report depressing.

"The reason I'm not depressed is because I see the difference between a world in which we don't do anything and a world in which we try hard to get our arms around the problem," he said.

Explore further: Human activity is 'almost certainly' driving climate change, IPCC leaked report says

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Howhot
3.3 / 5 (16) Nov 02, 2013
Yeap, I hate to say it, but that has been my thinking too. I know the deniers are going to come in here and be all cheerful and gay, and say nothing is happening, be happy. But I just can't shake the doom and gloom feeling that is so easily and logically predicted from global warming science and simulations. Of course the deniers of AGW will be happy and content when their cattle die off, food price spike, some items become un-available, because they are happy oil is still available for there supersized Hummer, or spit-polished F150 that has never seen a days work.

We can play games with the AGW deniers, look a graphs from forest-n-trees, but the bottom-line is the deniers know we have been right, and just want to troll here to score brownie points with their leader, "Mark Levin" (AM RW talk-radio joke).

The report's summary confirmed what educated people and researchers have known for a long time: "Climate change threatens our health, land, food and water security." Yep, bad.
ekim
2.5 / 5 (12) Nov 03, 2013
Don't get to down Howhot. Have faith that science will save us as it usually does. The deniers will change their tune as soon as they realize the profit to be made in the green economy.
ubavontuba
1.6 / 5 (25) Nov 03, 2013
So this whole time global food production per capita has been increasing, while the world has supposedly been warming, is suddenly supposed to reverse?

http://en.wikiped...2005.png

LOL What a bunch of morons. A warmer world is a greener world.

VendicarE
3.4 / 5 (10) Nov 03, 2013
World grain production peaked in 1996

http://i.imgur.com/bjKOf.png

Farm production = Oil consumption.

For every calorie of food energy produced through farming, several calories of cuel energy are supplied by burning, oil and natural gas.

Those carbon based resources are in short supply, and growing more so by the day.
cantdrive85
1.7 / 5 (24) Nov 03, 2013
OOOHHH MMMYYYY GOOOODDDD! The sky is falling, the sky is falling....AAAAAHHHHHHH!
VendicarE
3.1 / 5 (9) Nov 03, 2013
"The sky is falling, the sky is falling..." - CantDriveTooStupid

Ah... The perpetual whine of the TeaPublican Retard.
VENDItardE
1.4 / 5 (20) Nov 03, 2013
Ah... The perpetual whine of the TeaPublican Retard.

Ahhhhhh.....Scott's perpetual stupidity is evident every day of his life....Scott, you are truly stupid.
I recommend self-extinction as your only way out. Please post photo's for the world to enjoy.
ubavontuba
1.4 / 5 (19) Nov 03, 2013
World grain production peaked in 1996

http://i.imgur.com/bjKOf.png
No, that's a per capita production value, not a total production value, and grains alone do not tell the whole story of food production, and it's an isolated image with no source information.

Here's a better one:

http://www.earth-...rain.PNG

What is important though is production isn't increasing as quickly as demand. But this is becasue more people can afford more commercially produced food.

Farm production = Oil consumption.

For every calorie of food energy produced through farming, several calories of cuel energy are supplied by burning, oil and natural gas.

Those carbon based resources are in short supply, and growing more so by the day.
Farm productivity is ever increasing, and so is energy production.

ubavontuba
1.7 / 5 (22) Nov 03, 2013
To the editor:

Using a Somali famine image, which was largely a result of regional conflict, is absolutely despicable.
Sean_W
1.4 / 5 (19) Nov 03, 2013
To the editor:

Using a Somali famine image, which was largely a result of regional conflict, is absolutely despicable.


^^^Damn straight^^^
It's the kind of immoral faux-morality one has to expect from alarmists but it doesn't become less vile through familiarity.
goracle
1.5 / 5 (11) Nov 04, 2013
OOOHHH MMMYYYY GOOOODDDD! The sky is falling, the sky is falling....AAAAAHHHHHHH!

So much for the adult table...
Howhot
4.2 / 5 (5) Nov 04, 2013
@Teech2 says something profound;
The physicists already know, that the quantum mechanics can violate the entropy temporarily


Guess what else violates entropy; Life.

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