The UN will finalize a scientific report on how the warming is hitting homes

BERLIN – Scientists and governments will meet on Monday to finalize a major United Nations report on how global warming disrupts human life, their natural environment and the Earth itself. Don’t expect the planet of the flowery valentine: instead, a group of activists predicted a “nightmare painted in the dry language of science”.

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which brings together hundreds of the world’s leading scientists, publishes three huge reports on climate change every five to seven years. The latest update, which will not be completed until the end of February, will explain how Climate change is already affecting people and the planet, what to expect in the future, and the risks and benefits of adapting to a warmer world.

“We are concerned that the physical climate around us is changing,” said conference co-chair Debra Roberts, a South African environmental scientist. “But for most people in their daily lives … they want to know: so what? What it means for their lives, their aspirations, their jobs, their families, the places where they live. ”


The report contains seven regional sections “on how physical climate change is changing people’s lives,” she said. And she said it would put a strong emphasis on cities.

Even without seeing the final report, activists call it a worrying sign for the planet.

“The IPCC’s appalling evidence of escalating climate impacts should show a nightmare described by the dry language of science,” said Theresa Anderson, who heads climate justice at ActionAid International.

Scholars have yet to say exactly what the report is, because its critical summary is still subject to intense negotiations between the authors and governments over the next two weeks, and consensus is needed for the final version. The meeting opens with a press event on Monday in Berlin. Drafts that have been made public will be changed, sometimes drastically.

Last August, the first of three reports which prompted the UN to declare a “red code, ”Outlined the physical science of climate change, and a third report, due in March, will go into more detail on what can be done to contain and adapt to global warming.


Without going into details, co-chair of the report Hans-Otto Pörtner said science is clear that there are constraints – including temperature – on what key ecosystems, species and people can withstand. And in some places warming is already close to these limits, and in some cases, such as most of the world’s coral reefs, have even surpassed them.

“We are losing habitat for both species and ourselves,” said Pertner, a German biologist at a briefing last week. “Because with climate change, some parts of the planet will become uninhabitable.”

The report will also look at ways to adapt to an ever-warming world, including how some technological fixes can have unwanted side effects.

“In some Northern Hemisphere countries, there was an assumption (pro)“ Well, if we can’t control climate change, we just let go of it and adapt to it. In this way, we are adapting to the effects of climate change, ”Partner said. “And it’s certainly a very illusory approach.”


Environmentalists say the extreme weather that has been observed in some parts of the world in recent years shows how much governments need to address the cost of climate change.

“A future IPCC report will confirm what we already know about the loss of heat, drought, floods, storms, forest fires and ocean acidification for humans and critical ecosystems,” said Rachel Cletus of the Union of Concerned Scientists. “This is a comprehensive scientific assessment. emphasize the extent to which the climate crisis will worsen if we do not take bold global action. “

Poertner warned of “turning points” and the threat of mass extinction, as one that eliminated the dinosaurs of the Earth.

These reports are well-deserved by Fr. Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 – used when governments meet each year to agree on how to contain climate change.


“You don’t just need gradual change,” Roberts said at a UN Foundation briefing last week. “You need systemic change.”


For more information on AP climate lighting, read on


Follow Seth Barenstein on Twitter at @borenbears and Frank Jordans on @wirereporter.


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