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UN warning: Climate shift likely to hit food supply (March)


Asian Age, Delhi, Monday 24th March 2014

Global warming will disrupt food supplies, slow world economic growth and may already be causing irreversible damage to nature, according to a UN report due this week that will put pressure on governments to act.

A 29-page draft by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will also outline many ways to adapt to rising temperatures, more heatwaves, floods and rising seas.

“The scientific reasoning for reducing emissions and adapting to climate change is becoming far more compelling,” said IPCC chief Rajendra Pachauri.

Scientists and over 100 governments will meet in Japan from March 25 to 29 to edit and approve the report. It will guide policies in the run-up to a 2015 UN summit in Paris to decide a deal to curb rising greenhouse gas emissions.

The draft projects risks such as food and water shortages and extinctions of animals and plants. Crop yields would range from unchanged to a fall of up to two per cent a decade, compared to a world without warming. And some natural systems may face risks of “abrupt ordrastic changes” that could mean irreversible shifts, such as a runaway melt of Greenland or a drying of the Amazon rainforest.