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World’s Scientists Issue urgent Warning on Climate Change October 3rd, 2013

Late rains in Bangladesh stress crops and livestock.

Late rains in Bangladesh stress crops and livestock.

Last week, the highly esteemed Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its latest assessment of the science behind human-caused climate change.  For the first time, the IPCC has offered guidance on the amount of CO2 that can still be put into the atmosphere and still stay below the temperature rise of 2 decrees Celsius: about 1 trillion tons more.  The IPCC—which is made up of thousands of the world’s leading climate scientists from more than 120 countries—is now 95% certain that human activities are causing climate change. Previously, the scientists had been 90% certain.

In response to this report, Dr. Kevin Ahern, assistant professor of religious studies at Manhattan College, wrote The Moral Imperative to Act for Climate Justice. There, Dr. Ahern says that [t]he IPCC report draws attention to two facts that call Catholics and all people of good will to action, and highlights the work of the Coalition as an example of how Catholics are faithfully addressing climate change.

It should be noted that the U.S. Catholic bishops used the third IPCC report as the basis for their call to action by the Catholic community when they wrote their 2001 statement, Global Climate Change: A Plea for Dialogue, Prudence and the Common Good.

The UK charity, Christian Aid, is urging governments to heed the warnings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). According to Independent Catholic News, Christian Aid’s Senior Climate Change Advisor, Dr. Alison Doig, warns that people in developing countries are already facing the grim reality of a changing climate [and says that t]his report demonstrates the urgent action needed to stop climate change in its tracks by committing to rapidly reducing global carbon emissions.”

Thanks to the Catholic Coalition on Climate Change for this information.


Major US Cities Vulnerable to Drought June 14th, 2013

e1371148496Major US cities, including Washington, D.C., New York City, Los Angeles, and San Diego are likely to face water scarcity as climate change increases the potential for drought, according to a study released by the Columbia University Water Center in May.

Along with the potentially 40 million Americans affected in these cities, several “breadbasket region” states such as Nebraska, Illinois, and Minnesota were also considered to be vulnerable areas.

The report, America’s Water Risk: Water Stress and Climate Variability, examines how climate could affect “vulnerability to short and long term droughts,”

The study also notes that population growth and increased demand for water in the future will further decrease water availability, if precipitation and water use patterns remain largely unchanged.

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