Michael Oppenheimer summed it up, "We are all sitting ducks"
The WGII Summary for Policy Makers is available. It can be downloaded, and is not very long (44 pages including figures, about 30 pages of print). If bunnies have been paying attention a fast skim can be done. It is a sobering read, no more so than expected, perhaps less than needed. The first sentence says it all
Human interference with the climate system is occurring, and climate change poses risks for human and natural systemsHuman existence depends on those natural systems and humans are straining them to the breaking point and it is in the natural systems that the largest effects have been seen, seen, but mere harbingers of that to come.
In recent decades, changes in climate have caused impacts on natural and human systems on all continents and across the oceans. Evidence of climate-change impacts is strongest and most comprehensive for natural systemsWe have been told that there is no evidence for humans affecting the climate to change precipitation and affect water resources. Sadly that is wrong
In many regions, changing precipitation or melting snow and ice are altering hydrological systems, affecting water resources in terms of quantity and quality (medium confidence). Glaciers continue to shrink almost worldwide due to climate change (high confidence), affecting runoff and water resources downstream (medium confidence). Climate change is causing permafrost warming and thawing in high-latitude regions and in high-elevation regions (high confidence).We have been told that climate change has not affected the oceans. Sadly that is wrong.
Many terrestrial, freshwater, and marine species have shifted their geographic ranges, seasonal activities, migration patterns, abundances, and species interactions in response to ongoing climate change (high confidence).
We have been told that the WGII report will be able to attribute NO extinctions to climate change, Sadly that is wrong
While only a few recent species extinctions have been attributed as yet to climate change (high confidence), natural global climate change at rates slower than current anthropogenic climate change caused significant ecosystem shifts and species extinctions during the past millions of years (high confidence).We have been told by those who deny the impact of climate change and those who hide from our responsiblity that food will not be a problem as increasing CO2 greens the earth. Sadly that is wrong. Not today, and certainly not tomorrow
Based on many studies covering a wide range of regions and crops, negative impacts of climate change on crop yields have been more common than positive impacts (high confidence).
The smaller number of studies showing positive impacts relate mainly to high- latitude regions, though it is not yet clear whether the balance of impacts has been negative or positive in these regions (high confidence). Climate change has negatively affected wheat and maize yields for many regions and in the global aggregate (medium confidence). Effects on rice and soybean yield have been smaller in major production regions and globally, with a median change of zero across all available data, which are fewer for soy compared to the other crops. Observed impacts relate mainly to production aspects of food security rather than access or other components of food security. See Figure SPM.2C. Since AR4, several periods of rapid food and cereal price increases following climate extremes in key producing regions indicate a sensitivity of current markets to climate extremes among other factors (medium confidence).The WGII writers and governments are not ancient bunnies, they hold out hope that the challenge can be met, not without disruption, cost and tribulation, but naught like that which would happen if the world does not take action. They throw up their hands in despair if the path to a 4C world is chosen. They cannot estimate that damage.
It would be a good thing if the challenge were met, but sadly, like life, the house money bets against.