World is "ill-prepared" for risks from a changing climate: UN

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The effects of climate change that are already occurring on all continents and across the oceans may be "severe, pervasive and irreversible".

That's according to a new report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The report warns that the world, in many cases, is ill-prepared for risks from a changing climate.

It also concludes that there are opportunities to respond to such risks, though the risks will be difficult to manage with high levels of warming.

Chris Field is a scientist, researcher and co-chair of one of the IPCC Working Group.

Understanding that climate change is a challenge in managing risks opens a wide range of opportunities, he says.

"At least for me, I read the report and see reasons for optimism that dealing effectively with climate change can be part of building a world that puts an emphasis on creativity, on innovation and on proactively solving difficult problems. Climate change is a serious issue, it is probably the defining issue for the 21st century but it is also an issue where smart choices can help us make effective contributions for managing this serious challenge."

Observed impacts of climate change have already affected agriculture, human health, ecosystems on land and in the oceans, water supplies and some people's livelihoods, the Panel notes.

Hundreds of scientists and experts including over a thousand expert reviewers worldwide have contributed to the report.

Stephanie Coutrix, United Nations.

Duration: 1’36′

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