Intergovernmental panel

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  • The earth’s atmosphere is made up of a delicately balanced layer of ‘greenhouse gases’. This layer acts like a blanket, trapping enough heat to sustain life. Humans are burning huge amounts of fossil fuels – adding more and more greenhouse gases to the atmosphere and making this blanket thicker. This traps more and more heat, warming the globe and throwing our climate into chaos. Climate change is already underway.

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  • Global change, including climate change, ecosystem shifts and biodiversity loss as a result of explosive human population growth and consumption, is emerging as one of the most important issues of our time (Vitousek, 1994). Climate change in particular appears to be altering the function, structure and stability of the Earth’s ecosystems (Lovelock, 2009). It has been marked by an 80% increase in atmospheric CO2 level and a 0.

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  • According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the impacts of climate chang on the water cycle are already evident and projected to increase substantially in the futur Climate change impacts the quantity and qua of freshwater resources and the frequency of extreme events, such as floods and droughts While climate change is only one of many drivers increasing pressure on water resource its impact is projected to be significant and to accelerate over time. Climate change reinforc and adds urgency to the case for good water resources management more generally.

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  • Plants are sessile organisms and as such must have mechanisms to deal with both abiotic and biotic stresses to ensure survival. The term “abiotic stress” includes many stresses caused by environmental conditions such as drought, salinity, UV and extreme temperatures. Due to global climate change it is predicted that abiotic stresses will increase in the near future and have substantial impacts on crop yields (Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change;

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  • The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) was carried out between 2001 and 2005 to assess the consequences of ecosystem change for human well-being and to establish the basis for actions needed to enhance the conservation and sustainable use of ecosystems and their contributions to human well-being.

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  • The world’s climate is changing. The scientific evidence is incontrovertible: most of this change is due to human activity, and the process is speeding up as more and more carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gases are pumped into the atmosphere. The next 10 years are critical. Carbon dioxide emissions must be cut rapidly. If they are, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, we may limit the rise in global temperatures to two degrees centigrade.

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  • The Review uses the results from one particular model, PAGE2002, to illustrate how the estimates derived from these integrated assessment models change in response to updated scientific evidence on the probabilities attached to degrees of temperature rise. The choice of model was guided by our desire to analyse risks explicitly - this is one of the very few models that would allow that exercise. Further, its underlying assumptions span the range of previous studies.

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  • The impacts of climate change ranging from sea level rise, melting ice caps and glaciers, severe weather events, drought, flooding, warming, subtle changes in ecosystems – will impinge on every aspect of society and economic life. The costs of inaction will more than outweigh the costs of action. There is only a narrow window of opportunity to redress the situation.

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  • Climate change is increasingly recognized as one of the most critical challenges ever to face humankind. With the release of the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the international scientific community has significantly advanced public understanding of climate change and its impacts.

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  • The debate on climate change has shifted dramatically in recent years. There is now unequivocal scientifi c evidence – summarised in the 2007 report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – that global warming is happening; that human actions are responsible; and that this poses an enormous threat to life on Earth. Politicians, businesses and the public are increasingly aware of the problem and are calling for urgent action to cut the man-made emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) that cause climate change, in particular carbon dioxide (CO2)....

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  • Greenhouse gases are accumulating in Earth’s atmosphere as a result of human activities, causing surface air temperatures and subsurface ocean temperatures to rise. Temperatures are, in fact, rising. The changes observed over the last several decades are likely mostly due to human activities, but we cannot rule out that some significant part of these changes is also a reflection of natural variability. Human-induced warming and associated sea level rises are expected to continue through the 21st century.

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  • The most recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) states that global warming will lead to “changes in all components of the freshwater system,” and concludes that “water and its availability and quality will be the main pressures on, and issues for, societies and the environment under climate change.”2 Nestlé’s chairman Peter Brabeck- Letmathe puts it more bluntly, calling water availability a bigger challenge than energy security.

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  • And so, for another six years at least, it is over. Thousands of authors referring to vast numbers of papers have, in sometimes- contested consultation with the governments that lend their name to the process, provided the world with their best assessment to date of humanity’s prospects and options in the matter of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is far from a perfect institution, but it is a necessary and a heartening one.

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  • As recent weather events have illustrated, coastal areas in both developing and more industrialized economies face a range of risks related to climate change (IPCC 2007a). Anticipated risks include an accelerated rise in sea level of up to 0.6 meters or more by 2100, a further rise in sea surface tempera- tures by up to 3° C, an intensification of tropical and extra tropical cyclones, larger extreme waves and storm surges, altered precipitation and run- off, and ocean acidification (Nicholls et al. 2007).

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  • Indeed, most climate scientists now suspect that the accumulation of these gases in the lower atmosphere has contributed to the strong recent uptrend in world average temperature. In its Third Assessment Report, published in 2001, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) stated: “There is new and stronger evidence that most of the warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities” (3). During the twentieth century, world average surface temperature increased by approximately 0.6°C (Figure 1.1).

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