Climate scientists in Japan to study warming risks

March 25, 2014 by Elaine Kurtenbach
The chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Rajendra K. Pachauri, second from right, delivers an opening remarks during the opening session of the 10th Plenary of (IPCC) Working Group II and the 38th Session of the IPCC in Yokohama, near Tokyo Tuesday, March 25, 2014. The hundreds of scientists from 100 countries meeting in this Japanese port city are putting finishing touches on a massive report emphasizing the gravity of the threat the changing climate poses for communities from the polar regions to the tropics. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

Along with the enormous risks global warming poses for humanity are opportunities to improve public health and build a better world, scientists gathered in Yokohama for a climate change conference said Tuesday.

The hundreds of scientists from 100 countries meeting in this Japanese port city are putting finishing touches on a massive report emphasizing the gravity of the threat the poses for communities from the polar regions to the tropics.

"Although it focuses on a whole analytical and sometimes depressing view of the challenges we face, it also looks at the opportunities we face," said Christopher B. Field, the co-chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. "This can not only help us to deal with climate change but ultimately build a better world."

Japan's awareness of the severity of has been driven home by record temperatures of over 40 C (104 F), and in Yokohama, by unusually heavy snows this winter, said the environment minister, Nobuteru Ishihara.

Japan plans to release an adaptation plan of its own by the summer of 2015 that would focus on a more "eco-friendly lifestyle," he said. That includes improvements in energy efficiency ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic games.

"We aim to take full environmental consideration so that the Tokyo Games will be the 'environmental Olympics,'" Ishihara said.

The chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Rajendra K. Pachauri, right, and Japan's Environment Minister Nobuteru Ishihara chat before an opening remarks during the opening session of the 10th Plenary of (IPCC) Working Group II and the 38th Session of the IPCC in Yokohama, near Tokyo Tuesday, March 25, 2014. The hundreds of scientists from 100 countries meeting in this Japanese port city are putting finishing touches on a massive report emphasizing the gravity of the threat the changing climate poses for communities from the polar regions to the tropics. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

Japan is struggling to rein in its own emissions of greenhouse gases after it shut down its nuclear plants following the disaster in Fukushima after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Increased burning of natural gas, coal and oil to compensate for lost generating capacity have undone much of the progress the country had made in cutting carbon emissions.

The chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Rajendra K. Pachauri walks in the venue during the opening session of the 10th Plenary of IPCC Working Group II and the 38th Session of the IPCC in Yokohama, Tuesday, March 25, 2014. The hundreds of scientists from 100 countries meeting in this Japanese port city are putting finishing touches on a massive report emphasizing the gravity of the threat the changing climate poses for communities from the polar regions to the tropics.(AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

While each region faces its own mix of challenges, research conducted by thousands of scientists around the world underscores the need for urgent measures, J. Lengoasa, deputy head of the World Meteorological Organization, said in a recorded message to Tuesday's meeting.

He said countries in Africa already spend $7 billion to $15 billion a year on climate adaptation.

Smoke is discharged from chimneys at a plant in Tokyo, Tuesday, March 25, 2014. Along with the enormous risks global warming poses for humanity are opportunities to improve public health and build a better world, scientists gathered in Yokohama for a climate change conference said Tuesday. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

"Time is running out. We must take action," he said. "It is our obligation and our duty to inform the world of the prospects and risks that lie ahead."

Explore further: Warsaw climate meet must measure rich lands' emissions

Related Stories

Japan dials back climate change emissions target

November 15, 2013

(AP)—Japan's decision to drastically scale back its target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions could hurt efforts to craft a global deal to fight climate change, delegates at U.N. talks said Friday.

UN report sees $1.45 tn global warming cost: media

February 28, 2014

Global warming will reduce the world's crop production by up to two percent every decade and wreak $1.45 trillion of economic damage by the end of this century, according to a draft UN report, Japanese media said Friday.

UN says 2013 extreme events due to warming Earth (Update)

March 24, 2014

The head of the U.N. weather agency said Monday that recent extreme weather patterns are "consistent" with human-induced climate change, citing key events that wreaked havoc in Asia, Europe, the U.S. and Pacific region last ...

Recommended for you

Explaining crocodiles in Wyoming

September 2, 2015

Fifty million years ago, the Cowboy State was crawling with crocodiles. Fossil records show that crocs lounged in the shade of palm trees from southwestern Wyoming to southern Canada during the Cretaceous and Eocene.  Exactly ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.