In the wake of the IPCC’s report on the scientific basis
of climate change from the first working group, news has begun leaking from the second working group (WGII), which concentrates on impacts, adaptation and vulnerability.
The WGII’s summary report will be officially released April 6 — on a Friday, again, which will no doubt mute coverage — but its conclusions are in circulation now. In a few words, we are very vulnerable. The experts anticipate:
- Water shortages affecting tens of millions in Latin American, hundreds of millions in Africa, and a billion people in Asia by 2050, with numbers growing expontentially by 2080.
- The rampant spread of tropical diseases, accompanying warmer weather and water management issues.
- Over 100 million flooded by storms and rising sea levels by 2080 (Exit Bangladesh).
- The disappearance of unknown numbers of plant and animal species.
- An initial agricultural boom followed by sporadic, extreme instances of drought that cause massive starvation and food shortages.
This segment of the four-part report by the IPCC is said to be the ‘emotional heart’ of the overall product. If destroyed ice sheets don’t pull at your conscience, these impacts should.