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IPCC's "Darkest Yet" Climate Report Warns of Food, Water Shortages 703

Posted by timothy
from the c'mon-fellas-lighten-up dept.
The Australian reports that "UN scientists are set to deliver their darkest report yet on the impacts of climate change, pointing to a future stalked by floods, drought, conflict and economic damage if carbon emissions go untamed. A draft of their report, seen by the news organisation AFP, is part of a massive overview by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, likely to shape policies and climate talks for years to come. Scientists and government representatives will meet in Yokohama, Japan, from tomorrow to hammer out a 29-page summary. It will be unveiled with the full report on March 31. 'We have a lot clearer picture of impacts and their consequences ... including the implications for security,' said Chris Field of the US’s Carnegie Institution, who headed the probe.

The work comes six months after the first volume in the long-awaited Fifth Assessment Report declared scientists were more certain than ever that humans caused global warming. It predicted global temperatures would rise 0.3C-4.8C this century, adding to roughly 0.7C since the Industrial Revolution. Seas will creep up by 26cm-82cm by 2100. The draft warns costs will spiral with each additional degree, although it is hard to forecast by how much."
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IPCC's "Darkest Yet" Climate Report Warns of Food, Water Shortages

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  • by russotto (537200) on Sunday March 23, 2014 @12:44PM (#46557937) Journal

    At this point, the IPCC is looking more like bad disaster fiction.

  • by geek (5680) on Sunday March 23, 2014 @12:46PM (#46557949) Homepage

    Someone is getting their pockets lined. This is politics Al Gore style. Its pathetic, "food shortages" yeah right, because we all know food doesn't grow when the climate is warmer........ Scare tactics by intellectually challenged pseudo scientists.

  • by stox (131684) on Sunday March 23, 2014 @12:55PM (#46558011) Homepage

    I guess you have not been paying attention to the drought in the Central Valley of California. You will, when food prices shoot through the roof this summer.

  • by CajunArson (465943) on Sunday March 23, 2014 @01:06PM (#46558069) Journal

    The droughts in California ARE man-made, but they have nothing to do with the Global Warming boogy-man and have everything to do with 2 important facts that people seem to forget:
    1. That part of California is a freakin' desert and no, it didn't turn into a desert overnight because of Global Warming, it was a desert long before humans showed up.
    2. California's intentional man-made mismanagement of its water supply to dump water for bait-fish and for Mexico and refusal to build new reservoirs to store water from years when it has been plentiful has caught up to it now that we see California's climate doing exactly what it should be doing.

    But go ahead, blame Global Warming and burn a few witches at the stake since radical religious fanaticism with a thin veneer of "science" painted over it has now replaced rational thought.

  • by bunratty (545641) on Sunday March 23, 2014 @01:12PM (#46558099)
    That's precisely the problem. The warming isn't going to cause much of a problem for most people old enough to post here. By the time the problems get too bad to ignore, we're already committed to even more problems, because the excess carbon dioxide stays in the atmosphere for hundreds of years. That's why we keep getting these warnings, so we can avoid those problems before it's too late.
  • by houstonbofh (602064) on Sunday March 23, 2014 @01:21PM (#46558179)

    When setting your speed on the road, do you orient yourself on "the worst case scenario" (e.g. you car not handling your steering to avoid a suddenly appearing cow and hitting a tree in the middle of nowhere), or do you usually consider the "average scenario" (going on a dry, empty road)?

    When you are driving your car;
    After four hours of your mother shrieking at you to slow down when you are going 45 in a highway, do you eventually tune her out?

  • by phantomfive (622387) on Sunday March 23, 2014 @01:22PM (#46558197) Journal
    I'm not sure you've understood. Science is about accurately presenting the data. In making judgements, they've left science.

    If the IPCC said, "here is our worst case scenario, but we have low confidence in our predictions," that would be accurate. That's not what they said though, is it? Are you unable to see the propaganda in their announcement?

    I'm not sure what to say to you, if you think their approach is good science. Go read some Feyman or something, hopefully he can describe good science better than I can.
  • Re:sugar (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 23, 2014 @01:27PM (#46558233)

    Plants will require a lot of additional water in warmer climates

    Yes, a warmer client will destroy crops in Greenland... You forget that for all of the places that become too warm for the current crops (or too dry for any crops) there will be a lot more that suddenly become warm enough. And all of that melting ice frees up fresh water...

    Oh, good then! So you won't mind moving from your continent that turned into a desert wasteland for food production to a better continent in order to move where the food is, right? Yes, I'm sure that'll go over smoothly with people that haven't left their fucking county they were born in.

  • Re: sugar (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 23, 2014 @01:31PM (#46558257)

    Actually, increases in CO2 in the atmosphere reduce evaporation of water from plants as they don't have to open their stomata as much to get enough carbon dioxide. This means that plants will grow better in dryer environments with higher co2 concentrations in the atmosphere.

  • by phantomfive (622387) on Sunday March 23, 2014 @01:48PM (#46558371) Journal

    The IPCC report is *not* a scientific publication

    Well said.

    However, it is an acceptable pupose to report on the body of (scientifically valid) non-falsified hypotheses

    That is an excellent goal. If that is their goal, why are they using standard propaganda techniques?

  • IPCCFUD (Score:2, Insightful)

    by argStyopa (232550) on Sunday March 23, 2014 @01:53PM (#46558399) Journal

    "...pointing to a future stalked by floods, drought, conflict and economic damage if carbon emissions go untamed...."

    At least their analysis is objective, measured, and not trying to panic anyone.

  • Re:Credibility (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Kjella (173770) on Sunday March 23, 2014 @02:00PM (#46558439) Homepage

    Yes it does. You will recall that in the end, there was a real wolf who did appear. He ate all the sheep. So if the townspeople had reacted to the warnings not with scorn but by realizing that they were unprepared for actual wolves, their sheep would have been safe.

    Time to read your childhood stories again, they were prepared for actual wolves but only as long as they responded and due to the many false alarms they ignored the actual emergency. If there's any relevant analogy to the current situation it's to not run around like Chicken Little claiming the sky is falling unless it's true because nobody will take your warnings seriously afterwards. At least some scientists and politicians like to promote their worst doomsday predictions and every time they fail to come true it hurts their credibility, leaving many people to think it's all bogus and a sham. The media doesn't exactly help either, they like extreme headlines because they sell so they often take highly speculative bullshit and print it up huge as accepted scientific facts.

    Even if you take some of the worst case predictions they're talking about something like 5C over 100 years, which might sound a lot but we're talking 0.05C/year on average. Local variations are far, far greater than that, what you personally has experienced is pretty much irrelevant. One warm summer and people say it's global warming, one cold winter and people say it's bullshit. Even when you look at 10+ year averages chances are many places have gone against the global trend, either because of natural variation or because of shifting weather patterns. What matter is if you sample thousands and thousands of places and the total keeps going up, not one particular place. But most people will look out the window and base their opinion on that.

  • by Joce640k (829181) on Sunday March 23, 2014 @02:33PM (#46558645) Homepage

    So, you are not one of the people who has trouble recognizing which parts of AGW are settled science and which parts aren't? Is that what you are saying?

    Nope, that's just you trying to act like a smart ass by implying that _you_ do.

    If you want details, I believe that the following is settled:
    a) Climate doesn't change spontaneously, something has to drive it
    b) Global temperature is slowly going up (we keep on inventing better instruments to measure it, they keep telling us the exact same thing)
    c) The only major heat source around here is the Sun
    d) Greenhouse gases are the only gun producing any smoke at the moment (solar output isn't increasing)
    e) CO2 is a greenhouse gas
    f) Man is producing a lot of CO2 (and at the same time destroying some of the CO2 absorbing capability of the planet)

    On a more "personal opinion" level, I believe:
    g) The public consensus in the USA on AGW is very different from the rest of the world (via. paid lobbying and paid-for media stories).
    h) The AGW "debate" in the USA closely resembles the Creation-vs-Evolution "debate", ie. a never-ending game of Whac-a-Mole against arguments that sound plausible but never stand up under scrutiny, no matter how convinced the creationists were when they were parroting them. One side has to spend vast resources to produce hard evidence, the other side doesn't feel they have any burden of proof whatsoever, they just make stuff up.

    The list of arguments I refer to in (h) looks something like this [skepticalscience.com]. Maybe you've heard some of those arguments over the last few years. Well, guess what...?

    Disagree? Perhaps you'd like to inject _your_ facts into this.

  • by phantomfive (622387) on Sunday March 23, 2014 @02:51PM (#46558741) Journal
    ok, so then what about these facts, do you feel they are settled or not?

    A) Global warming is a threat to civilization.
    B) We must immediately shut down all our coal plants.
    C) The North Pole will be free from ice by 2015.
    D) AGW has caused more extreme weather.
    E) There is a tipping point where global warming will run away.
    F) AGW will have little noticeable effect.
    F) Global warming will cause more poison ivy.
    G) By 2014, the earth's temperature will be 1.25 degrees above the mean.
    H) We know all the components that warm the earth, to within +-5 degrees C.

    Which one of those are settled? All of them have been hypothesized by scientists (except the last one, no scientist claims that one!)
  • by Joce640k (829181) on Sunday March 23, 2014 @03:07PM (#46558845) Homepage

    Those are all strawmen.

    Facts: Global warming exists, mankind is driving it.

    Everything else is just a case of "when?" and "how bad?" (which we obviously can't tell you)

  • by phantomfive (622387) on Sunday March 23, 2014 @03:24PM (#46558937) Journal
    Yeah, I figured you'd end up posting something like that when you first posted a response.
  • by KeensMustard (655606) on Sunday March 23, 2014 @03:59PM (#46559125)

    Someone is getting their pockets lined.

    Is this an obtuse reference to "Lord" Christopher Monkton, who makes money by travelling the world in luxury, sucking money from his gullible audiences like a gargantuan leech draining a docile cow at the waterhole?

    Or are you referring to Anthony Watts - self proclaimed "most read denialist" who gets stipend to preach the word from the Heartland Institute?

    "food shortages" yeah right, because we all know food doesn't grow when the climate is warmer.

    Well, yes. Yes - we DO all know that, unless we are in denial.

    Scare tactics by intellectually challenged pseudo scientists.

    Scare tractics? Try looking reflectively for a while at the guy who is alleging that AGW is a massive, 150 year old conspiracy established to further - what cause exactly was that again?

    As a general observation "massive, time travelling conspiracy" is the preserve of pulp fiction, not the intellectually superior, as you allege.

  • Re:sugar (Score:5, Insightful)

    by KeensMustard (655606) on Sunday March 23, 2014 @04:05PM (#46559151)
    And presumably, at each point, you simply abandoned the house that you were living in, and then bought a new one at inflated prices at the next place?

    Plus, presumably, the government in fact, abandoned the the infrastructure that supported each house (you know: highways, railways, power lines and power stations, sewage treatment plants, government buildinggs and services). And your new government (you immigrated each time - right?) was quite happy to build new infrastructure from the ground up - at no cost to yourself and millions of other immigrants?

    We'd have to assume that's what happened, because otherwise your anecdote would not be analogous, and you would not have posted it, would you?

  • by tgrigsby (164308) on Sunday March 23, 2014 @04:13PM (#46559187) Homepage Journal

    A more accurate example might be your mother screaming at you to slow down because you're going 90mph while the oil executive in the back seat is calling you a wimpy, pinko, commie hippy for driving so slow.

  • by Man On Pink Corner (1089867) on Sunday March 23, 2014 @05:14PM (#46559561)

    h) The AGW "debate" in the USA closely resembles the Creation-vs-Evolution "debate", ie. a never-ending game of Whac-a-Mole against arguments that sound plausible but never stand up under scrutiny, no matter how convinced the creationists were when they were parroting them. One side has to spend vast resources to produce hard evidence, the other side doesn't feel they have any burden of proof whatsoever, they just make stuff up.

    Actually it doesn't resemble the Creation/Evolution debate at all, and I get the heebie-jeebies when someone says it does. One of my favorite charities, the National Center for Science Education, has gone down this path recently and I wish there were a good way to talk them out of it.

    Climate models are based on just that -- models. We could still wake up one day, slap ourselves in the forehead, and admit that our computer models are either grossly in error, or missing one or more key factors that would change their output drastically. The map is not the territory, science is not a democracy or a popularity contest, and climate modeling is not a "settled science." I don't care who says it is, and I don't care what percentage of climate scientists agree. It just isn't. Sorry, but that's not the way these things work.

    On the other hand, we are absolutely not going to wake up one day and realize that we have the basics of evolution wrong. There is absolutely no possibility that we will discover that humans are not, in fact, descended from earlier hominids. There is absolutely no possibility that we will discover that we don't have ancestors in common with modern apes. That isn't going to happen. Too many independent lines of evidence have come together, making consistent predictions, providing confirmable explanations, and withstanding intense scrutiny.

    My fear is that the global-warming thing will prove to be a red herring, as usually happens whenever "B...b...but 99% of scientists agree!!!11!" is the primary argument in favor of a theory. When that happens, it's going to be almost impossible to keep the Creationists and other assorted modern-day flat-earthers from gaining the influence over public education and popular culture that they've always dreamed of.

  • by rasmusbr (2186518) on Sunday March 23, 2014 @05:21PM (#46559597)

    A study that studies the ill effects of X without considering the costs and drawbacks of combating X is always going to find that we should do something about X, so then it's no surprise that the studies about the effects of global warming find that we should do something about it, since that is the only conclusion that a study like that can reach. I'd like to see a study that compares the effects of three different government policies, assuming all of the governments on the planet do the same thing (a ridiculous assumption, but let's humor it for the sake of argument):

    Scenario 1: Governments tax the hell out of fossil fuels in order to prevent more global warming from happening.
    Scenario 2: Governments lower taxes on fossil fuels in order to help the economy grow, which will help people adapt to global warming. The warming will of course be much worse than in scenario 1.
    Scenario 3: Business as usual.

    Has this been done and what have the results been?

  • by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Sunday March 23, 2014 @05:33PM (#46559667)

    Or have you not observed what happens to the posts of religious, conservative, libertarian, pro-intelligent design, or non-adherents to the cult of AGW?

    They're being modded down by those who consider them overrated or off-topic. They're being opposed by commenters who reply with their counter-arguments. They're not being deleted, their posters are not getting banned. They simply stay here. Not even obvious vulgar trolls get that treatment here. Go visit Reddit or other news sites. Observe and compare.

  • by AaronW (33736) on Sunday March 23, 2014 @05:53PM (#46559765) Homepage

    I can tell you that it is far from artificial. This year we received almost no rain or snow. Up until February there was virtually no rain. We have since only had a few storms and unseasonably warm weather. The snowpack is almost nonexistant this year. Last year was also rather dry as well. Even if they captured 100% of the water flowing from the Sierras this year it wouldn't help a whole lot.

    Water in California is very carefully managed and the politicians can't really be faulted in this case. There just isn't any water to be had.

  • by sg_oneill (159032) on Sunday March 23, 2014 @06:15PM (#46559955)

    Someone is getting their pockets lined. This is politics Al Gore style. Its pathetic, "food shortages" yeah right, because we all know food doesn't grow when the climate is warmer........ Scare tactics by intellectually challenged pseudo scientists.

    Well this ooky spooky vast left wing conspiracy certainly has forgot to line my sisters pockets who's been staring at satelite data and , you know, using physics and stuff (hint: The picture coming out of the science really isn't pretty)

    Thankfully the christian right blogosphere will teach us about how real science works!

  • by archer, the (887288) on Sunday March 23, 2014 @07:55PM (#46560527)
    Parroting is the only thing that most of us can do. Both of you are doing it, unless one of you is an actual climate scientist with appropriate degrees and experiences, who has performed his/her own experiments and data collections to research how the earth's environment has behaved in the past.

    97 out of 100 scientists are certain that the climate is going to become detrimental to our current society. That's enough for me.

    If I didn't trust scientists, my next computer or cell phone purchase would involve the following: redevelop physics from scratch, including semiconductor, RF comms, and information theory. Build a 22nm lithography process. Test it. Otherwise, how do I know I'm not falling for a hoax?

    Just because I don't understand something, doesn't mean that something doesn't exist. Yes, on the flip side, if one person tells me something, that person isn't automatically correct. That's where peer review comes in.

    For the computer purchase example, I could test a new computer. That's a great solution for that scenario. But from where do we get a second earth to test Climate Change?

    Yes, shutting down coal plants overnight is bad: it would cause massive chaos. That's exactly what climatologists are trying to avoid. However, we can work towards getting those plants offline, and work towards zero emission vehicles. On the off-chance all those scientists are wrong about climate change, at least our cities would have better air.
  • Re:sugar (Score:5, Insightful)

    by KeensMustard (655606) on Sunday March 23, 2014 @10:46PM (#46561273)

    we move / replace infrastructure all the time.

    Indeed we do. Included in the infrastructure we replace is (a) Power generation facilities and (b) cars, both of which are routinely replaced with better, more efficent technologies.

    Which is why I find this whole line of argument rather curious.

    You (and you cohorts) apparently think that moving a whole country including ALL the infrastrucure that supports that country, and, explicitly including the transport and opower generation infrastructure, is going to be cheaper than replacing a small portion of that infrastructure and leaving our farms where they are. How much do you think the power generation infrastructure is as a percentage of the whole? 5%? 7%?

    What a nonsense argument. I suggest if you guys can't do basic maths you aren't in a position to dictate to us how we ought to handle this situation.

  • Here is the problem I have personally with AGW...it DOES NOT MATTER if you believe it or not, DOES NOT MATTER if AGW is 100% correct and happening because a a handful of ultra rich leeches [nakedcapitalism.com] has made damn sure that the ONLY "solution" you will get will be buying their magical carbon indulgences at a greatly elevated price of course.

    Read the article above or look up "Al Gore carbon billionaire" to see why AGW does not matter as long as fucktards like Gore and Goldman Sachs have their fat piggie hands out, I mean for fucks sake Al Gore lives in a McMansion, flies around with a handful of guys in his personal LEAR JET and has a fricking fleet of SUVs drive him around to tell YOU what a shit you are for not taking the bus yet he has the gold plated balls to say he is "carbon neutral" because HE PAYS HIMSELF indulgences from his own fucking company...which he gets a God damned tax writeoff for!

    I'm sorry folks but that is EXACTLY what you will get [youtube.com] with Crap and Trade and carbon indulgences, a handful of uberrich douchebags that live like kings while telling YOU that you need to eat bugs and ride a fucking bus, all the while they get tax credits for moving YOUR money from their left pocket to their right!!! And you notice rev Al and Goldman NEVER EVER say a fucking word about limiting imports from China and India, the two biggest polluters which in the case of China we can actually detect it from the west coast? Wanna know why? Because that would hurt their profits LULZ.

    If you wanna actually support real change? DON'T BUY THE SNAKE OIL being pushed by scammers like Gore and GS! They are counting on all these reports making you foolish enough to go "OMFG we have GOT to do something!" which will be followed by them selling you some scam like carbon indulgences which will ONLY give more of what we've had for the past half a century, a handful of uberrich scum making insane bank and exporting misery.

    So until Rev Al and his pals aren't in the way with their hands out? You damned right I'm gonna fight against AGW, not because i don't think dumping crap in the air is bad, but because I don't think Gore's magic billion dollar carbon be-gone spray is gonna do a fucking thing except give Gore the ability to buy the nicest land and best food while YOU are supposed to live like a third world peasant...fuck that shit!

  • Re:Indeed! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by delt0r (999393) on Monday March 24, 2014 @07:02AM (#46562437)
    Nothing is ever inconsistent with AGW predictions. Because it predicts everything.
  • by fygment (444210) on Monday March 24, 2014 @08:01AM (#46562781)

    IPCC: doom gloom and the seas will rise by 'x' by 2100

    Counter argument: given the complexity of the system and the shallow understanding of many processes, is it not likely that some small perturbation will greatly alter the predicted outcomes of your model ... especially over the time frames you are talking about?

    IPCC: then we shall assume that if nothing changes, our outcomes will be proven valid

    Counter argument: when in all history has 'nothing changed'? Ergo your models are so brittle as to be utterly unrealistic.

    Also when the IPCC starts adding qualifiers that highlight the _accuracy_ of their models, then maybe they will have some credibility. But right now, where are the caveats and cautions clearly stating the assumptions of the models and the sensitivity of the model outcomes to those assumptions? That's right, there are none ever shown to the public.

    Bunk.

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