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Monday, April 9, 2012

all countries vulnerable to heat waves, intense rain, floods and drought – warns ipcc special report

The report is mainly aimed at policymakers to act now and plan better for natural disasters

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has warned countries all over the world to act quickly before it is too late.
In a special report, ‘Managing the risks of extreme events and disasters to advance climate change adaption,’ published by the IPCC, it says that all nations will be vulnerable to expected heat waves, more intense rains and floods and a probable rise in the intensity of droughts.
The IPCC in a press release said evidence  suggests  that  climate  change  has  led  to  changes  in  climate extremes such as heat waves, record high temperatures and, in many regions, heavy precipitation in the past half century.
“The need for action has become more acute as a growing human population puts more people and more assets in the path of disaster, and raising economic risk,” stated the report.
The report is mainly aimed at policymakers to act now and plan better for natural disasters to save lives.
“The main message from the report is that we know enough to make good decisions about managing the risks of climate-related disasters.  Sometimes we take advantage of this knowledge, but many times we do not,” said Chris Field, Co-Chair of IPCC’s Working Group II, which together with Working Group I produced the report.
“The challenge for the future has one dimension focused on improving the knowledge base and one on empowering good decisions, even for those situations where there is lots of uncertainty,” he said.
The report shows policies to avoid, prepare for, respond to and recover from the risks of disaster can reduce the impact of these events and increase the resilience of people exposed to extreme events.
It shows that many countries, including developing countries, face severe challenges in coping with climate-related disasters. Asia was the most vulnerable to potential disasters, with East Asia and the Pacific facing the highest adaption costs.
“There are many options currently available that could improve preparation for effective response to extreme climate events and disasters, and enhance recovery from them,” said Vicente Barros, the other Co-chair of Working Group II, adding that the report identifies lessons learned from extensive experience in disaster risk management and from the growing focus on climate change adaption.
The report’s 592 pages cite thousands of scientific studies and have been subjected to three rounds or review by experts and governments to ensure that the findings are firmly based in the underlying scientific and technical information.
A total of 220 authors from 62 countries worked on the report, for which 18,784 outside expert and government review comments were received in the three rounds of formal review.
“The authors assess scientific and technical information from around the world to provide and communicate knowledge on what we know with confidence, as well as identifying areas on which greater scientific evidence is essential to gain deeper understanding,” said the chairman of the IPCC, R.K Pachauri.
He said IPCC is committed to produce reports that are policy relevant but not policy prescriptive through a transparent process.

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