This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

April 02, 2014

Panel: Climate Change Felt 'On all Continents'

Climate change is impacting human and natural systems on all continents and oceans, according to a summary report released on March 31 by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The report, titled Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability, notes there are increasing risks from the changing climate, but the report also concludes that there are opportunities to respond to such risks, though the risks will become difficult to manage with high levels of warming.

The findings for policymakers released by the IPCC’s Working Group II mark the culmination of four years’ work by hundreds of experts who have volunteered their time and expertise to produce a comprehensive assessment of impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability. The report considers every region and many sectors, ranging from oceans to human security, and focuses on effective responses. It notes that adaptation to reduce the risks from a changing climate is now starting to occur, but with a stronger focus on reacting to past events than on preparing for a changing future.

The report builds on the four previous assessment reports produced by the IPCC since it was established in 1988. In another report released in September 2013, the IPCC determined that human influence on the climate system is clear, and concludes that it is "extremely likely" that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century. See the IPCC news releasePDFand the October 23, 2013 EERE Network News.