On Monday, March 31, 2014, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its second report of a three-part series, Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability. The summary is available here, and the whole report can be viewed in its two sections, Part A and Part B. Additionally, there are Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) documents for the whole report and by chapter. The report, a product of more than 300 lead authors, focuses on climate change impacts as well as opportunities to adapt and reduce the vulnerability to the impacts of climate change.
The report identified a “very high confidence” category of climate change effects that included more intense heat waves and fires, increased food- and water-borne diseases, and a rise in sea level in certain areas. Food security was emphasized as an area of significant concern. The report stated climate change had already cut into the global food supply and global crop yields were beginning to decline – especially for wheat. Furthermore, numerous fish species, a critical food source, will also move because of warmer waters. The report also mentioned that vulnerability and exposure to climate change impacts can vary based on non-climatic factors (i.e., economic and political development). Additional temperature increases of 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit would cause global annual economic losses between 0.2% to 2% of income.
The report has a much greater emphasis placed on adapting to the impacts of climate change than the previous report. According to IPCC, “Responding to climate-related risks involves decision-making in a changing world, with continuing uncertainty about the severity and timing of climate-change impacts, and with limits to the effectiveness of adaptation.”
Join us at the 2014 Preparedness Summit this week in Atlanta, GA, and attend the Adaptation Planning: Preparedness and Climate Change Ignite session on Tuesday April 1st from 3:30 – 5:00pm.
Other climate change initiatives to look out for:
- Climate Data Initiative (released March 19, 2014): An initiative which brings together Federal Government’s freely-available climate-relevant data resources along with commitments from the private and philanthropic sectors to develop data-driven planning and resilience tools for local communities.
- Years of Living Dangerously (airs on Showtime starting April 13, 2014, at 10PM ET/PT): Documentary series about the human impact on climate change.
- National Climate Assessment Report (release date late April 2014): A report which will inform the nation about already observed changes in climate, the current status of the climate, and anticipated trends for the future.
- NACCHO Climate Change and Public Health Online Course: The Climate Change and Public Health course defines climate change and describes the ways that climate change impact public health by exploring the topic of climate change mitigation and adaptation and local health department roles in each of these areas.
- NACCHO Climate Change Toolkit: The NACCHO Climate Change Toolkit is designed to provide tools and resources to help local public health practitioners plan for and address the health effects of climate change in their jurisdictions.
- Long Term Planning for Climate Change: What Local Public Health Should Consider Moving Forward
- Integrating Extreme Weather Events into Preparedness Planning