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Published on Saturday, November 2, 2013 by Common Dreams
Titled, Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability, the leaked document is the draft version of the second installment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's latest review of the global scientific consensus on the global warming and climate change.
The IPCC's first installment, released in September, focused on assessing the global scientific community's combined research on the causes, pace, and evidence of planetary climate change. As the title of the leaked draft suggests, the next installment takes a more focused looked at the way the projected climate impacts will play on a variety of the Earth's systems both in the natural world, including the oceans and natural habitats, and those, like agricultural and economic systems, built by human society.
Focusing on what the draft report says about the future of world agriculture and food security, the New York Times reports:
On the food supply, the new report finds [...] that over all, global warming could reduce agricultural production by as much as 2 percent each decade for the rest of this century.
During that period, demand is expected to rise as much as 14 percent each decade, the report found, as the world population is projected to grow to 9.6 billion in 2050, from 7.2 billion today, according to the United Nations, and as many of those people in developing countries acquire the money to eat richer diets.
Any shortfall would lead to rising food prices that would hit the world’s poor hardest, as has already occurred from price increases of recent years. Research has found that climate change, particularly severe heat waves, was a factor in those price spikes.
The agricultural risks “are greatest for tropical countries, given projected impacts that exceed adaptive capacity and higher poverty rates compared with temperate regions,” the draft report finds.
Asked by the New York Times, IPCC spokesperson Jonathan Lynn did not dispute the authenticity of the document, but emphasized that it was a "draft" still under review and said, “It’s likely to change.”
This is not the first time that drafts of the IPCC's work have been released without authorization, but many simply acknowledge that the review process—which includes assessments and input from hundreds of scientists and experts working in dozens of countries around the world—makes leaks nearly impossible to avoid.
The report on climate impacts looked specifically at how climate change will impact a range of areas, including fresh and salt water ecosystems, food production and agriculture, economic sectors, human health, conflict and security scenarios, and the interplay of these overlapping dynamics.
Offered with varying degrees of scientific consensus and confidence, what follows is a partial list of the key impacts of climate change contained in the leaked IPCC draft assessment:
The complete version of the leaked draft follows: