NPR Story
4:17 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

Climate Report Warns of 'Severe' and 'Irreversible Impacts'

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 4:14 pm

The United Nation’s International Panel on Climate Change released its fifth report on climate change today.

The report details recent impacts of climate-related extremes such as wildfires, droughts and floods and predicts the vulnerability of human and natural resources, including a stress on crops and water resources.

Noah Diffenbaughclimate scientist at Stanford University and one of the co-authors of the IPCC report, joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson to discuss the details.

“We have a tremendous amount of new information about climate risk, and how physical changes in the climate system — like heat waves, like storm surges, like heavy rainfall — how those change in response to global warming, and also how different natural and human systems are impacted,” Diffenbaugh said.

Diffenbaugh says we can expect to see “extreme climate events” that are more frequent and more intense, but that there are ways to prepare and adapt for the changing climate.

“We have opportunities to manage the risk of those extremes, in terms of our exposure and our vulnerability,” Diffenbaugh said. “There are a lot of examples of managing these climate risks, and we see that in terms of how different countries are dealing with sea level rise … We see in terms of the strength of community networks, there’s a lot of new research showing that the stronger the community network, the more resilience there is when an extreme event does happen.”

Guest

  • Noah Diffenbaugh, climate scientist at Stanford University and visiting fellow at Stanford’s Woods Institute for the Environment. He co-authored today’s IPCC report.
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