“The IPCC working group did not mean to provide a risk assessment of future climate change impacts and so it did not.” —Anders Levermann, Potsdam Institute for Climate Change Research, lead author of the sea level chapter for the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report.
The IPCC synthesizes useful climate science, but has failed to produce a comprehensive global risk assessment of the threat posed by climate change. Most shockingly, the potential for massive climate change feedbacks from such impacts as rainforest dieback and changed Arctic albedo have not been fully investigated. While a leaked draft of the forthcoming IPCC report mentions risks posed to health, economic growth, crops, and water supplies, a fuller risk assessment that includes climate feedbacks and worst case scenarios is still lacking.
IPCC reports omit numerous amplifying feedbacks, including the Arctic albedo feedback and emissions of methane, nitrous oxide, and carbon dioxide under rapid Arctic warming. Other feedbacks not being accounted for include release of methane hydrates, and rainforest and boreal forest die-back. Thus the risk of runway climate change is not being systematically assessed.
The Typhoon Haiyan super storm, coming in quick succession after Hurricane Sandy and widespread evident climate weirding, illustrates clearly that, intensified by abrupt climate change, extreme weather is surging and may already be runaway and past the tipping point (meaning it is growing exponentially and can’t be stopped). Please demand governments meeting in Warsaw to discuss climate policy instruct the IPCC to do a comprehensive climate change risk assessment – in an open, transparent manner that is updated annually – which includes climate feedbacks and assesses worst case scenarios.
Faced with a global ecological emergency, IPCC science compilations must occur more frequently (now every 5 years) and not be heavily edited by governments which are controlled by the oil oligarchy. Also demand immediate international agreement upon differentiated but shared emissions cuts that phase out fossil fuels and upon funding to protect and restore intact natural ecosystems, both achieved through a hefty global carbon tax. Otherwise, the future awaiting all of us will look like the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan.
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Typhoon Haiyan believed to be biggest storm ever to make landfall - we deny abrupt climate change at our own peril
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