AGENCIES: The Earth could witness a dramatic decline in fish stocks, a 100-fold increase in the damage caused by superstorms and millions of people displaced by rising seas, if humanity does not reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to a 900-page draft report by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
The report, which will officially be released on September 25, concludes that humanity must overhaul the way it produces and consumes almost everything to avoid the worst ravages of climate change and environmental degradation.
It is due to be the fourth in a series of UN reports in recent months on the effects of climate change and specifically focuses on the planet’s oceans and cryosphere – areas composed of frozen water.
The destructive changes have already been set in motion, according to the report. Melting glaciers will first give too much, causing widespread flooding, and then too little, bringing drought, to billions who depend on them for freshwater, the report finds.
Without cuts to man-made emissions, at least 30 percent of the northern hemisphere’s surface permafrost could melt by the end of the 21st century, unleashing billions of tonnes of carbon and accelerating global warming even more, the study says.