The second part of the IPCC report, to be presented in April in Brussels after final discussions with government representatives from around the globe, is certain to have a major political impact on the ongoing debate about climate change.
The authors sifted through some 30,000 data sets from more than 70 international studies documenting changes to water circulation, to cryospheres (ice zones), as well as to flora and fauna over a period of at least 20 years. Their main conclusion: Climate change is already having a profound effect on all continents and on many of Earth's ecosystems.
The IPCC expects the following world regions to suffer the most due to climate change: the Arctic due to the greatest relative warming; small island states in the Pacific as sea levels rise; Africa south of the Sahel zone due to drought; and densely populated river deltas in Asia amid flooding.
The UN climate panel expects “increasing deaths, injuries and illness from heat waves, floods, storms, forest fires and droughts.” The draft summary for policymakers details “heat-related mortality” especially in Europe and Asia.