Roasted World: The IPCC Second Course Is Served

our_bleeding_world_by_yediburun.jpgWe humans have spent millions of years learning to hang with the 100+ people we know best, and to find our life sustaining resources from a 100-mile circumference of the earth's surface. So, it should seem natural for people to express even more "shock and denial" when the second, and impact-focused IPCC report gets released tomorrow. Global economy not withstanding, imagine how much more closely we'd be roped into 100-mile circumference - and how shocked we'd be - were it not for a near constant flow of updated, online news. Much of what we discuss on TreeHugger comes via the old fashioned investigative reporting of the world's print media. Without the print reporter's probing, flawed as it can be at times, we'd all be in climate knowledge purgatory. How ironic, then, that the internet - blogging in particular - is lately portrayed as print media competitor #1. (Mysteriously, the news paper business has not figured out that some of us might wish to forgo the tree cutting.) A symbiosis between print news and blogging is possible, if news outlets would offer an "opt in" subscription where one is not forced to accept the newspaper in a plastic bag...or even in a double plastic bag!...on the porch or at the head of the driveway. Until that day, and in tribute to the print media's coverage of Roasted World this very week, there follows some excerpts from the print media's anticipatory coverage of the latest IPCC report. A link to the full, original article is at the head of every paragraph grouping.

Title credit: "Roasted World", Dr. John Holdren, incoming President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, via:- John K. Bullard Image credit:- Deviant Art, by yediburunUSA Today - "...Scientists say rising sea temperatures worldwide are causing more coral bleaching.From the micro to the macro, from plankton in the oceans to polar bears in the far north and seals in the far south, global warming has begun changing life on Earth, international scientists will report next Friday." Changes in climate are now affecting physical and biological systems on every continent," says a draft obtained by The Associated Press of a report on warming's impacts, to be issued by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the authoritative U.N. network of 2,000 scientists and more than 100 governments."

ABC News:- "Within two or three decades, there could be one and a half billion people without enough water, according to a new report on the impacts of global warming. Such droughts would produce "refugee crises like we've never seen," as one of the study's lead authors told ABC News.

Scientists working on the "Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability" report have been telling ABC News for months that its findings, once public, would be alarming."

New York Times:- "The world's richest countries, which have contributed by far the most to the atmospheric changes linked to global warming, are already spending billions of dollars to limit their own risks from its worst consequences, like drought and rising seas Despite longstanding treaty commitments to help poor countries deal with warming, these industrial powers are spending just tens of millions of dollars on ways to limit climate and coastal hazards in the world's most vulnerable regions — most of them close to the equator and overwhelmingly poor."

Toronto Star:- "By the end of this century, fires will consume twice as much forest annually in Canada, a fifth of the currently snowy Arctic will be greened by tundra and Great Lakes water levels will have plunged still lower, international scientists are going to warn this week in an authoritative climate change report."

New York Times (2nd coverage):- "In its fourth assessment of global warming, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change used its strongest language yet in drawing a link between human activity and recent warming. Do rich nations have an obligation to help poorer ones prepare for potential changes caused by global warming?...In almost every instance, the people most at risk from climate change live in countries that have contributed the least to the atmospheric buildup of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases linked to the recent warming of the planet."

Palm Beach Post:- "If global warming continues at the rate of acceleration currently experienced, Palm Beach County could disappear within less than a century, a climate change expert told the Florida Cabinet on Tuesday. The curve of the county that causes it to "bump" out into the ocean farther than the rest of Florida's east coast makes it a poster child for the damages global warming can cause, cautioned Stephen Leatherman, director of the International Hurricane Research Center at Florida International University.

"Palm Beach not only gets hit by hurricanes but, more importantly, the erosion is caused by the winter Nor'easters," Leatherman told a global warming panel composed of Gov. Charlie Crist and the Florida Cabinet on Tuesday. "It's an erosion hot spot," said Leatherman, also known as "Dr. Beach," because he ranks the worlds' best beaches each year."

New York Times (3rd coverage):- A summary of the working draft of the report, to be released Friday in Brussels, was provided to The New York Times yesterday by several people involved in reviewing it The new report describes the specific effects of climate changes on people and ecology; identifies those species and regions at greatest risk; and describes options for limiting risks. Some of the changes could be beneficial, but most will prove harmful in the long run, the report says.

It finds that global warming caused by humans has almost certainly contributed to recent shifts in ecosystems, weather patterns, oceans and icy regions, and that it will have large and lasting effects on human affairs and on the planet's web of life in this century.

The draft report predicts a variety of health effects as well, with "increased deaths, disease and injury due to heat waves, floods, storms, fires and droughts," but also "some benefits to health such as fewer deaths from cold."

Also in the plus column, higher concentrations of carbon dioxide, the main heat-trapping gas, are contributing to a greener world, according to the draft."

TreeHugger's favorite coverage was in the Christian Science Monitor:- "Like the Whos of Dr. Seuss's Whoville, many parts of the world are looking for a Horton to help them adjust to global warming, which is forecast to last for decades even if radical steps are taken soon to curb greenhouse gases.

Tomorrow, the UN-backed Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change releases a report with its best estimates on which parts of the planet lie in harm's way of the new weather patterns. Its suggestions will serve as a global guide to adapting to hotter weather, rising seas, more severe droughts, or increased floods.

Rich countries in northern climes will be less affected, be better able to cope, and may even see benefits in farming. But because their decades of greenhouse-gas emissions helped make them rich, they have the most obligation to assist poorer, warmer countries that pollute less and yet are most vulnerable to climate change."

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