As the world gets hotter by degrees, millions of poor people will suffer from hunger, thirst, floods and disease unless drastic action is taken, scientists and diplomats warned Friday in their bleakest report ever on global warming.
All regions of the world will change, with the risk that nearly a third of the Earth’s species will vanish if global temperatures rise just 3.6 degrees above the average temperature in the 1980s-90s, the new climate report says. Areas that now have too little rain will become drier.
Yet that grim and still preventable future is a toned-down prediction, a compromise brokered in a fierce, around-the-clock debate among scientists and bureaucrats. Officials from some governments, including China and Saudi Arabia, managed to win some weakened wording.
Even so, the final report “will send a very, very clear signal” to governments, said Yvo de Boer, the top climate official for the United Nations, which in 1988 created the authoritative climate change panel that issued the starkly worded document.
And while some scientists were angered at losing some ground, many praised the report as the strongest warning ever that nations must cut back on greenhouse gas emissions.
Bleakest Climate Report Approved