Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Impacts of Climate Change Are Widespread and Substantial

31 March 2014

Impacts of Climate Change Are Widespread and Substantial

In recent decades changes in climate have caused impacts on natural and human systems on all continents and across the oceans, the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says.

The report, from the IPCC’s Working Group 2, was released today (31 March) in Yokohama. It describes effects already being seen from changes in climate, the impacts expected for a range of possible future scenarios of greenhouse gas emissions, and ways of managing and reducing risks through adaptation.

Dr Andy Reisinger of The New Zealand Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre says “The new report summarises why, where and how climate change actually is a serious problem”.

Dr Reisinger jointly led preparation of the chapter on New Zealand and Australia. He says: “Without adaptation, further changes in climate are expected to have substantial impacts on Australia and New Zealand’s water resources, coastal ecosystems, oceans, infrastructure, health and agriculture.”

Key risks identified by the report for New Zealand include increased flooding and wildfire, and coastal damages from sea level rise. Some potential benefits are also identified, such as reduced energy demand for winter heating, and increased spring pasture growth in cooler regions.

The report says that globally, climate change has caused animals and plants to shift their ranges, seasonal activities, migration patterns and abundance.

Changing rainfall or melting snow and ice are affecting water resources and quality in many parts of the world. Negative impacts of climate change on crop yields have been more common than positive impacts. As temperatures rise, so does the risk of severe and pervasive impacts.

Looking to the future, the report concludes that many species and systems are subject to very high risks if global temperatures warm 2°C above recent (1986 to 2005) levels, particularly Arctic sea ice systems and coral reef ecosystems. Sea level rise projected to occur through this century will lead to increasing flooding and erosion impacts for low- lying coastal areas, and some small island states are expected to face very high impacts

For 1°C of warming, climate change related risks are high from extreme events such as heat waves, extreme precipitation (rain and snow), and coastal flooding. Without adaptation, negative impacts for crop production in many tropical and temperate regions are expected for local temperature increases of 2°C or more. The fraction of the global population experiencing water scarcity will increase with the level of warming through the 21stCentury. In the oceans, acidification poses risks especially to polar ecosystems and coral reefs.

Risks of severe impacts on unique and threatened systems including risks of substantial species extinction are high at around 3°C of global warming above 1986 to 2005 levels. High temperature and humidity associated with such temperature rises could compromise normal activities including growing food or working outdoors in some areas for parts of the year.

A first step towards adaptation to future climate change is reducing vulnerability and exposure to present variations in climate. But Dr Reisinger says “ a key challenge for government is to identify when and where adaptation may have to go beyond incremental measures and more transformational changes may be needed, and how to support such decisions”.

Several New Zealand scientists contributed substantially to the report, as well as Dr Reisinger. Professor Alistair Woodward of Auckland University was a Coordinating Lead Author for the Health chapter. Dr Andrew Tait of NIWA and Dr Paul Newton of AgResearch were Lead Authors of the Australasia chapter. Dr Philip Boyd, initially from NIWA and Otago University and now at the University of Tasmania, was a lead author of the chapter on Ocean Systems.

Full text of the “Summary for Policymakers” of the report will be available on the IPCC website (www.ipcc.ch) from 31 March, along with near-final versions of the underlying chapters including the chapter on Australasia.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

  • Govt Probed Over Health & Safety
  • Questions and Answers 28-05-15
  • Week in Parliament 22-05-15
  • Saturday Sitting
  • House Rises At Midnight
  • Telco Levy Bill Passes
  • Telco Levy Bill Completes First Reading
  • Social Housing Bill Passes Under Urgency

  • Labour Party: McCully Doesn’t Deny Bribe In Saudi Sheep Scandal

    “In Parliament today I asked Murray McCully directly: Why is he the first Minister in history to back a multi-million dollar facilitation arrangement which in other jurisdictions is called a bribe? says Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson ... More>>

    ALSO:

    Welfare: Closure Of Relationships Aotearoa

    The Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Social Workers (ANZASW) Chief Executive Lucy Sandford-Reed is concerned about the closure of a national service which provides a wide range of services to rural and urban communities throughout New Zealand. More>>

    ALSO:

    TPPA: University Of Auckland Warns Of Negative TPP Impact

    The University of Auckland May 20, 2015 University of Auckland Warns of Negative TPP Impact With the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiation drawing to a close, the University of Auckland has expressed serious concerns about its potential implications. ... More>>

    NZ Flag: Flag Referendum Gets Hit Hard In New Poll

    The latest Campbell Live text poll confirms it is time for the Prime Minister to listen to the public and shelve his flag referendum, says the New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters. More>>

    Gordon Campbell: The Government’s Belated Moves On Property Speculation

    Is it a property tax on capital gains or a capital gains tax on property? The Jesuitical distinctions in the government’s spin about its latest moves on property speculators are all about whether the government can claim that it jumped, or confess that it ... More>>

    Grant Robertson:
    Key Can’t Just Be Prime Minister For Parnell

    John Key must show New Zealanders in next week’s Budget that he is more than the Prime Minister for Parnell, and is also the Prime Minister for Pine Hill, Putararu and Palmerston North, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. In a ... More>>


    Labour Party: More Regional Jobs Go In Corrections Reshape

    News that 194 Corrections staff are to lose their jobs will have ramifications not only for them and their families but for the wider community, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Prison units at Waikeria, Tongariro and Rimutaka ... More>>

    ALSO:

  • NZ First - Prison Job Losses to Send Money Offshore
  • TPPA: ‘Team Obama’ Regroups On Fast Track, Still Not Deliverable

    ‘After yesterday’s stinging and unexpected defeat for the Obama administration’s attempt to advance Fast Track legislation in the US Senate, Senate leaders have worked up a compromise they think will get them past this blockage’, according to Auckland ... More>>

    NZ Government: 5,500 More Doctors And Nurses In Our Hospitals

    Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says a record number of doctors and nurses are working in District Health Boards across the country. More>>

    Controller and Auditor General: Katherine Rich Conflict of Interest Decision

    We are writing to you about a matter that has been raised with us by members of the public. More>>

    ALSO:

    Budget 2015: Andrew Little On The 2015 Budget

    Speaking to the Chamber of Commerce, the Labour opposition leader attacked the government’s approach to economic issues facing New Zealand. He said they have been “more than reckless in their complacency” and “the next week’s budget will do nothing ... More>>

    Defence Force: NZDF Building Partner Capacity Mission Personnel In Iraq

    NZDF Building Partner Capacity Mission Personnel in Iraq The New Zealand Defence Force Building Partner Capacity training mission contingent is in place at Taji Military Complex in Iraq. The Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant General Tim Keating says the ... More>>

    PM Press Conference: ACC Levy Cuts Announced

    In a press conference this afternoon in Wellington, ACC Minister Nikki Kaye proposed $500 million worth of ACC levy cuts. More>>

    Quakes: New Process For Red Zone Crown Offers

    Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee has announced a process to give everyone a say on the Crown offers to owners of vacant, commercial/industrial and uninsured properties in the Residential Red Zone. More>>

    ALSO:

    Get More From Scoop

     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Politics
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news