The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a report today (31 March) that says the effects of climate change are already occurring on all continents and across the oceans and that in parts of the world, we are ill-prepared for risks from changing climate.
“The findings of the IPCC hammer home again, that anthropogenic climate chaos has begun for communities across the globe. We can’t keep ignoring the stark warnings of catastrophic consequences of climate change. The Emissions Trading Scheme is not working. We need to be able to address the effects ON not just OF climate change through the Resource Management Act. Fossil fuel extraction needs to stop now” says Urs Signer, member of Climate Justice Taranaki.
The Australasia chapter of the report states that we can expect:
– increased damages to ecosystems and settlements, economic losses and risks to human life from wildfires in most of southern Australia and many parts of New Zealand;
– increased frequency and intensity of flood damage to settlements and infrastructure in Australia and New Zealand, driven by increasing extreme rainfall;
– increasing risks to coastal infrastructure and low-lying ecosystems in Australia and New Zealand from continuing sea level rise, with widespread damages towards the upper end of projected changes.
“Climate change is not just affecting our relations in the Pacific who are losing their land and homes to the rising ocean. It is happening right here too, with impacts on future food production and many of the life-giving services our biosphere provides. Unless we immediately deal with our fossil-fuel addiction and stop the extraction of oil, gas and coal, it is now all too clear that with every new well we are virtually digging the graves of our grandchildren” concludes Urs Signer.
 The IPCC’s media release is available here
 The IPCC’s reports are available here
Related media coverage:
‘Climate change already affecting food supply’ (Guardian, 31 March 2014)
Global warming means hotter temper (Stuff World, 31 March 2014)
Climate change: Report a wake up call for New Zealand (Stuff World, 2 April)
Global warming – we still have to change (TDN, 3 April)