Feature

A Grim New Warning on Global Warming

A report by the United Nations details a bleak future because of inaction.

What happened
Global climate change will cause permanent drought and famine in Africa, massive flooding in low-lying Asian deltas, and severe hardship for billions of people, an influential panel of scientists said last week. Between 250 million and 980 million people, mostly in Africa, could find themselves without fresh water by 2050, according to the report by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. At least 130 million people will face food shortages, and 20 percent to 30 percent of plant and animal species risk extinction. The U.S. faces deadly heat waves, droughts, hurricanes, and infestations of foreign pests that could have severe economic implications, the report warned. Martin Parry, co-chairman of the IPCC, said the conclusions of the 200 scientists were based on atmospheric and climate changes already being observed, not on computer models.

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