Monday, March 31, 2014

Global warming threats challenged

The Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) says global warming is not as bad as many believe.

It released a 1,062-page report Monday - Climate Change Reconsidered II: Biological Impacts- that says the threats of famine are overblown.

Food production will increase in many areas, the report says.

Carbon dioxide, targeted as a greenhouse gas, is “a non-toxic, non-irritating, and natural component of the atmosphere,” the report says.

“Long-term carbon dioxide enrichment studies confirm the findings of shorter-term experiments, demonstrating numerous growth-enhancing, water-conserving, and stress-alleviating effects of elevated atmospheric CO2 on plants growing in both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems,” the panel says in a news release about the report.

There is little or no risk of increasing food insecurity due to global warming or rising atmospheric CO2 levels.

Farmers and others who depend on rural livelihoods for income are benefitting from rising agricultural productivity around the world, including in parts of Asia and Africa where the need for increased food supplies is most critical.

“Rising temperatures and atmospheric carbon dioxide levels play a key role in the realization of such benefits,” the news release says.

Nor is there a huge threat to aquatic life, the panel says, because they have shown “considerable tolerance to temperatures and carbon dioxide levels predicted for the next several centuries.”

Nor will more people die as the globe warms, the panel says.

‘More lives are saved by global warming via the amelioration of cold-related deaths than are lost due to excessive heat.

“Global warming will have a negligible influence on human morbidity (deaths) and the spread of infectious diseases,” it says.

The panel says its report is backed by “thousands of citations to peer-reviewed scientific literature.”

In 2008, Lawrence Solomon, a Canadian environmentalist, wrote a book, The Deniers, that said much the same things as this report.

He also cited a wide range of leading scientists in debunking critics who say people are to blame for global warming.

Solomon did not, however, deny that there is global warming. He cited many other factors beyond human control that are responsible.