A report released by the United Nations yesterday entitled “Climate Change Science Compendium 2009” finds that many predicted effects of global warming on climate change are occurring much more rapidly than originally predicted. A press release which summarizes the report notes in part: “the newly emerging science points to some events thought likely to occur in longer-term time horizons, as already happening or set to happen far sooner than had previously been thought.”
Among those predicted events the report finds:
“growing concern among some scientists that thresholds or tipping points may now be reached in a matter of years or a few decades including dramatic changes to the Indian sub-continent’s monsoon, the Sahara and West Africa monsoons, and climate systems affecting a critical ecosystem like the Amazon rainforest.
The report also underlines concern by scientists that the planet is now committed to some damaging and irreversible impacts as a result of the greenhouse gases already in the atmosphere.
Losses of tropical and temperate mountain glaciers affecting perhaps 20 percent to 25 percent of the human population in terms of drinking water, irrigation and hydro-power.”
The findings are summarized in the statement that “it may still be possible to avoid the most catastrophic impacts of climate change. However, this will only happen if there is immediate, cohesive and decisive action to both cut emissions and assist vulnerable countries adapt.”