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Where were you when they told us the world as we know it is over?

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(Article changed on November 5, 2013 at 02:57)

According to a leaked draft of the upcoming Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC), the world as we know it is over.  The report presents substantial and well documented predictions of global suffering and massive social disruption resulting from the impact climate change on the water supply, food, and natural resources, and successively mounting human loss.  (Image 11/2013 eclipse)

Oddly enough, the recipient of the leak, the New York Times, acted like it was a story about the "food supply."  In fact, the totality of the draft  makes it clear that we've gone too far for too long to avoid the dire consequences of man made climate change.

The documented risks presented include (Climate Change 2014:  Impacts, Adaptations, Vulneratility, IPCC, here or here, pp. 6 & 7):

-" Food insecurity linked to warming, drought, and precipitation variability;

-" Death injury and disrupted livelihoods in low-lying coastal zones " due to sea level rise, coastal flooding and storm surges;

-" Severe harm for large urban populations due to inland flooding;

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-" Systemic risk due to extreme events leading to break down of infrastructure networks and critical services;

-" Loss of rural livelihoods and income due to insufficient drinking and irrigation water and lower agricultural productivity particularly in poorer regions; and,

-" Loss of marine and terrestrial ecosystems and the services and livelihoods that they provide

What's left?

Why are the IPCC estimates so important?

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IPCC was formed by the United Nations Environment Programme and the  the World Meteorological Organization.  It operates as a consensus panel of scientists from around the world.  They assess and apply huge volumes of research on climate change.  By its structure, the requirement for consensus translates into mid range rather than leading edge analysis.

Leading scientists warned of a tipping point previously and developed scenarios more intense than offered by IPCC.

Since IPCC concludes that the impact on natural and social systems will be world changing, we can assume that the evidence is overwhelming and the conclusions largely unavoidable (as the draft shows).  The report anticipates criticism by noting that IPCC's database is substantially larger than that of previous reports.

The Times headlined the IPCC leak with, Climate Change Seen Posing Risk to Food Supplies,  Nov 1 .  The food supply is one among many dire threats outlined in the report.  Food production will be flat or reduced by 2% every ten years through 2100 while the demand for food is projected to increase by 14% a decade until 2050.   Reduced food supply results from degradation of productive land and a lack of water to irrigate crops.  Those factors flow directly from increased average temperatures and extreme weather conditions.

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