New International Report: Global Warming Impacts Will Worsen Without Emissions Cuts

“Adaptation” not Appropriate Response to More Drought, Sea-level Rise, Severe Impacts on America and Poor Nations

Contact: Julia Bovey, NRDC, 202/270-0768

WASHINGTON (April 6, 2007) – The second installment of a major international global warming science report says that warming’s impacts are being felt today and adaptation measures will not be enough to deal with the dangerous expected effects. The report notes severe impacts on America, such as increased drought, forest fires and sea-level rise, and also notes the disproportionate impacts that will occur abroad in vulnerable places such as Africa.
The report, Climate Change Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability, is the second of three reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the preeminent international scientific body on global warming.
Among the major findings of the report are:
  • In the absence of action to curb global warming, impacts will become increasingly severe and adaptation will not be feasible, especially for poor countries.
  • The United States will suffer increased wildfires, heatwaves, and coastal flooding.
  • 20 to 30 percent of assessed species risk extinction with climbing temperatures and changing ecosystems.
Below is the statement of Dr. Dan Lashof, science director of the Climate Center at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC):
In a one-two punch, the world’s best climate scientists and our own Supreme Court issued conclusions in the same week that will propel action on global warming.
From stronger storms to longer droughts and more intense heat waves, this report confirms what we’ve already seen with our own eyes: global warming impacts are here. But the report also makes it clear that we need to make emission cuts to avoid the worst consequences, as the impacts will be too great to rely on adaptability.
Now is the time for our leaders in Washington to take decisive action and institute a national program to cut global warming emissions, starting right now. We have the technology and the know-how, and after this week it should be clear the law and science is behind action all the way.

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