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

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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  • sugar (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 23, 2014 @01:55PM (#46558007)

    Plants will require a lot of additional water in warmer climates. You can actually bake the plants in too warm of a climate. A warmer climate means more evaporation of standing water, especially bad in places that don't get heavy rain fall. Not so much scare tactics, but I would take it with a grain of salt; However much easier to believe if you've actually taken the time to record your weather, I live in a place that is normally very very wet and it's been just far too dry the past 2-3 years and this year is aiming to be more dry than last years.

  • by bunratty ( 545641 ) on Sunday March 23, 2014 @02:09PM (#46558085)
    About a decade ago [].
  • by Mashiki ( 184564 ) <> on Sunday March 23, 2014 @02:17PM (#46558141) Homepage

    You mean the artificially created drought in the central valley? Between the politicians and the EPA, we're going to reap the stupidity of those who would rather dump fresh water into the ocean(among other things).

  • by Joce640k ( 829181 ) on Sunday March 23, 2014 @02:35PM (#46558277) Homepage

    The problem a lot of people have understanding AGW is separating the science that is settled from the unsettled predictions.


    The main problem is seeing through the fog created by the anti-AGW lobby. []

    They think they're being free thinkers, that the AGW people are the ones drinking the establishment cool-aid. In reality it's the other way around.

  • by rs79 ( 71822 ) <> on Sunday March 23, 2014 @02:37PM (#46558295) Homepage

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

    This has been asserted since 1985.

    Freeman Dyson speaks out about climate science, and fudge
    Climatologists Are No Einsteins, Says His Successor

    "in the late 1970s, he got involved with early research on climate change at the Institute for Energy Analysis in Oak Ridge, Tenn."

    "That research, which involved scientists from many disciplines, was based on experimentation. The scientists studied such questions as how atmospheric carbon dioxide interacts with plant life and the role of clouds in warming.

    But that approach lost out to the computer-modeling approach favored by climate scientists. And that approach was flawed from the beginning, Dyson said.

    “I just think they don’t understand the climate,” he said of climatologists. “Their computer models are full of fudge factors.”

    A major fudge factor concerns the role of clouds. The greenhouse effect of carbon dioxide on its own is limited. To get to the apocalyptic projections trumpeted by Al Gore and company, the models have to include assumptions that CO-2 will cause clouds to form in a way that produces more warming.

    “The models are extremely oversimplified,” he said. “They don’t represent the clouds in detail at all. They simply use a fudge factor to represent the clouds.”

    Dyson said his skepticism about those computer models was borne out by recent reports of a study by Ed Hawkins of the University of Reading in Great Britain that showed global temperatures were flat between 2000 and 2010 — even though we humans poured record amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere during that decade. []

    "Atmospheric CO2 may actually be improving the environment.

    “It’s certainly true that carbon dioxide is good for vegetation,” Dyson said. “About 15 percent of agricultural yields are due to CO2 we put in the atmosphere. From that point of view, it’s a real plus to burn coal and oil.”

    In fact, there’s more solid evidence for the beneficial effects of CO2 than the negative effects, he said. So why does the public hear only one side of this debate? Because the media do an awful job of reporting it.

    “They’re absolutely lousy,” he said of American journalists. “That’s true also in Europe. I don’t know why they’ve been brainwashed.”

    I know why: They're lazy. Instead of digging into the details, most journalists are content to repeat that mantra about “consensus” among climate scientists.

    The problem, said Dyson, is that the consensus is based on those computer models. Computers are great for analyzing what happened in the past, he said, but not so good at figuring out what will happen in the future. But a lot of scientists have built their careers on them. Hence the hatred for dissenters."

    Lovelock: who predicted disaster - []

    Now says:

    The problem is we don't know what the climate is doing. We thought we knew 20 years ago. That led to some alarmist books — mine included — because it looked clear-cut, but it hasn't happened," Lovelock said. "The climate is doing its usual tricks. There's nothing much really happening yet. We were supposed to be halfway toward a frying world now," he said. "The world has not warmed up very much since the millennium. Twelve years is a reasonable time it (the temperature) has stayed almost constant, whereas it should have been rising — carbon dioxide is rising, no question

  • by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Sunday March 23, 2014 @02:43PM (#46558331) Journal
    The Central Valley was definitely NOT a desert, it was a dense grassland biome with up to 24 inches of rain a year. Additionally it had annual flooding bringing nutrients and water from the mountains. The only reason it is not a forest is because most of the rain happens during the winter.

    The southern half of the Central Valley was home to the largest freshwater lake west of the Mississippi, but it's dried up over the last century and a half because the water was diverted.
  • by bunratty ( 545641 ) on Sunday March 23, 2014 @03:00PM (#46558431)
    The trouble is that the rate that we are emitting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere far exceeds the rate at which plants can absorb it [].
  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Sunday March 23, 2014 @03:13PM (#46558505)

    The first link points out how there is a limit to CO2 helping plant growth - but does nothing to argue against some areas being warmer producing more food, nor does it argue at all against plants doing mildly better with more CO2. It argues against levels of CO2 that are not possible harming plants.

    The second link ins something about animals having issues adapting which is irrelevant to talking about plant life and mild warming.

    The last link is just more stuff about extreme weather already debunked by actual weather events we are having.

    The problem you have when you parrot other people's ideas is that you can't effectively argue when those arguments fall out of date or or otherwise debunked (summary: we have to have more extreme weather events before you can claim warming causes them, instead of just asserting they will happen).

  • by hey! ( 33014 ) on Sunday March 23, 2014 @03:33PM (#46558637) Homepage Journal

    Depends on where you live.

    Just as you should not confuse weather with climate, you should not confuse *regional* climate with *global* climate. The Medieval "Warm" Period refers to the temperatures in European climate. High temperatures around the North Atlantic were offset by anomalously cool temperatures elsewhere. In contrast average temperatures have been anomalously high in every region of the globe in the last decade or so.

    In other words, we are experiencing *global* warming now, but had *regional* warming in the MWP.

    Even withglobal warming your neck of the woods may experience instances of anomalously cool weather. Under more extreme global warming levels, where you live might even experience regional *cooling*, due to disruptions in the transfer of energy from low to high latitudes -- although that is still hypothetical at this point. At present nearly the entire planet has been experiencing higher average temperatures. []

  • by Cantankerous Cur ( 3435207 ) on Sunday March 23, 2014 @03:37PM (#46558671)

    Gees, where did you get your Bio degree from? No, that not true for the majority of plants (carbon is rarely the limiting growth factor). If anything, plants become lazier as a result of high CO2 by making fewer pores for air exchange. Moreover, it's not plants but microorganisms in the ocean that produce roughly 85% of our oxygen.

    Did you know that plants have mitochondria too? The way plants work is they store energy using chloroplasts during the day and expend it at night for growing. It'd be much safer for you to say that plants are carbon neutral instead of carbon negative.

  • Re:sugar (Score:4, Informative)

    by Hognoxious ( 631665 ) on Sunday March 23, 2014 @04:01PM (#46558801) Homepage Journal

    On the other hemisphere, when you lose Southern Africa, Argentina & Australia there's nothing much South of them that you gain.

  • by rrohbeck ( 944847 ) on Sunday March 23, 2014 @05:14PM (#46559197)

    There was no "pause." The "slowdown" was within one sigma of the long term trend and the temperature never left the one sigma band, as Tamino has showed again and again. With newer data gathering and improved interpolation of polar regions even the "slowdown" disappers mostly.

  • by rrohbeck ( 944847 ) on Sunday March 23, 2014 @05:19PM (#46559229)

    Yes, they are called RCPs (Representative Concentration Pathways), what used to be the "scenarios" in older reports, and except for the dip in 2008/2009 global emissions were always above the worst case scenario. 63% of all CO2 has been emitted since scientists began to warn about AGW so there is no indication that the world will deviate from the worst case BAU path.

  • Re:sugar (Score:4, Informative)

    by symbolset ( 646467 ) * on Sunday March 23, 2014 @05:27PM (#46559267) Journal
    During the Holocene optimum equatorial climes were about the same as now. It was the poles that warmed. The Sahara actually turned green, with grassland, lakes and hippopotamus.
  • by Jane Q. Public ( 1010737 ) on Sunday March 23, 2014 @05:40PM (#46559351)

    "... and what we've observed is the warming that was predicted. That seems to be the opposite of "totally wrong" to me."

    No, it's not "the opposite of wrong"... it's just wrong. We HAVEN'T observed the warming that was predicted.

    A paper in Nature last September [] (pdf) was a study of 117 of the most-cited CO2 climate warming models. 114 of them not only overestimated warming, the average (mean) amount they exaggerated warming (versus actual observed temperatures) was MORE THAN 100%.

    And if you think that is somehow an anomaly, I assure you it isn't. The climate hasn't "warmed" in at least 16 years. [] AGW-proponent climate scientists publicly admit that they have no idea why.The reason is simple: their theory [] is fundamentally flawed. []

    The fact is, the theory of Catastrophic Greenhouse Gas Warming is just plain weak "science", and always has been. There is an awful lot of counter-evidence that you just haven't heard about because you have to actually look for it. It isn't spoon-fed to you by the government or the news.

    Not to mention the truckloads of evidence that have continued to build concerning the compromised integrity of data, and its irresponsible handling by said climate scientists.

    Add to that the publicly reported "statistics" that are so distorted one might even be justified in calling them fraudulent, like the bogus "97% consensus" claim [].

    And if you think "there has been no serious dispute" of these CO2-based warming claims, as many climate scientists and their supporters have tried to claim, you would be mistaken []. That is a list of just some of the peer-reviewed papers that disagree.

    There are mountains of such information out there, if you just but look. Do yourself and everyone else a favor, and be more skeptical.

  • by bunratty ( 545641 ) on Sunday March 23, 2014 @05:45PM (#46559377)
    No, you can make the temperature appear to be going down for short periods of time by carefully cherry picking the data. If the temperature actually went down, we would see the melting slow down instead of continuing to accelerate [].
  • Re:sugar (Score:5, Informative)

    by AaronW ( 33736 ) on Sunday March 23, 2014 @06:41PM (#46559701) Homepage

    And you do realize that the farther north you go the shorter the growing season, i.e. the days get shorter faster as you go north. You can't just move all your farming north and expect similar yields.

  • by rahvin112 ( 446269 ) on Sunday March 23, 2014 @06:51PM (#46559751)

    The lake in the central valley did dry up because water was diverted, but this was intentional. The lake was very shallow, IIRC less than 30' at the deepest location with an average less than 10'.

    The government made the decision to dry out the lake and turn the area into active farmland. A massive irrigation and diversion project was undertaken and within a small period of time they dried out the lake and began farming what remained. That land is some of the most fertile in the US.

  • Re:sugar (Score:5, Informative)

    by styrotech ( 136124 ) on Sunday March 23, 2014 @07:03PM (#46559861)

    Not only that, but contrary to the impression given by popular map projections if you move some optimal band towards the poles you will lose more area than you gain.

    And as for the southern hemisphere, there's no new land in that direction anyway. Well not until Antarctica thaws out at least.

  • by tanveer1979 ( 530624 ) on Monday March 24, 2014 @02:01AM (#46561695) Homepage Journal

    I come from a farming family, we do produce lots of crops including wheat.
    If temperatures go warmer by a degree. It won't matter. Really it won't.
    however, as temperatures change, rainfall patterns change.
    For example, we get rain from westerlies in Northwest India from Dec-End feb.
    So wheat gets water at times of growth, and while harvesting end march - late april there is hardly any rain.

    Over the past 10 years it has changed. It can rain heavily in march-april also, which will destroy almost ripe wheat crop.
    Heck, westerlies are active into may now.

    Such change in rainfall patterns can destroy crops.

    Another example, the himalayas got a lot of snow this year. Much more than normal. Good thing. But all of it started in feb in some regions, which will result in poor apple crop this time in some regions.

    Any climate change which alters patterns(not necessarily warming or cooling, but change) has the potential to destroy agricultural yields. So climate change is a bad thing in general for agriculture unless it happens over millenia.
    I would not mind climate change if it happened gradually like in olden times. We would adapt. But rapid change in rainfall patters over 3 decades. Everything goes for a toss.

  • by rs79 ( 71822 ) <> on Monday March 24, 2014 @03:57AM (#46561923) Homepage

    "That doesn't even begin to cover how many scientists actually believe that the IPCC reports are too conservative in their predictions."

    "many scientists". Please. Darwin. Copernicus.

    "97%+ of geologists agreed the continents were stable. It was Settled Science. Hundreds of research papers supported it. Overwhelming consensus. And wrong. And, oddly (not really, if you think about it a moment), it was not a geologist but a meteorologist, Alfred Wegener, who ultimately showed all the mutually agreeing geologists they had it all wrong; the continents move." - Michael K. Oliver

    Error bars. 75% error. For a 35 year old model to diverge like that from nature means it's basically - junk. You took applied math in school, right?

    "When your hypothesis disagrees with nature, it's wrong" - Feyman.

"The eleventh commandment was `Thou Shalt Compute' or `Thou Shalt Not Compute' -- I forget which." -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982