The New York Times reports that the latest IPCC report to be released today has found with “high confidence” that greenhouse gas emissions are at least partly responsible for a host of changes already under way, including longer growing seasons and shrinking glaciers.
The report said there was at least a 90 percent chance that most warming since 1950 had resulted from a continuing buildup of heat-trapping emissions in the atmosphere.
It finds that climate change caused by humans has almost certainly contributed to recent shifts in ecosystems, weather patterns, oceans and icy regions, and that it will have large and lasting effects on human affairs and on the planet’s web of life in this century.
Among other findings, the draft says:
“Coasts are very likely to be exposed to increasing risks due to climate change and sea-level rise, and the effect will be exacerbated by increasing human-induced pressures on coastal areas.”
“It is likely that corals will experience a major decline due to increased bleaching and mortality due to rising seawater temperatures.”
Many of the world’s regions that are already vulnerable to climate and coastal hazards are likely to see the biggest effects from additional changes driven by the buildup of greenhouse gases. “Poor communities can be especially vulnerable,” it says, “because they tend to be concentrated in relatively high-risk areas, have more limited coping capacities, and can be more dependent on climate-sensitive resources such as local water and food supplies.”