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April 1, 2014

New U.N. report warns of dire climate change effects


A new U.N. report on climate change is full of serious warnings and unhappy predictions of what’s to come.

The report was written by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, a group of hundreds of scientists and other experts.

“The one message that comes out very clearly is that the world has to adapt and the world has to mitigate,” said Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the IPCC. “And the sooner we do that, the less the chances of some of the worst impacts of climate change being faced in different parts of the world.”

The IPCC is pressing for a global agreement next year on curbing carbon emissions.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry endorsed that idea, saying, “Unless we act dramatically and quickly, science tells us our climate and our way of life are literally in jeopardy. Denial of the science is malpractice.”

The Obama administration has moved to lessen greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and autos, but faces an uphill battle in Congress if it tries to implement a broader climate agenda.

Separate polls last year, by the Pew Research Center, found more than two-thirds of Americans believed the Earth is getting warmer. But only one-third saw government action as a priority.

Warm up questions
  1. What is climate change?
  2. How has climate change affected your community?
  3. Where is Yokomo, Japan?
Discussion questions
  1. What causes the climate to change? *Think both man-made and natural events
  2. What are the effects of climate change on the planet?
  3. What can we do to limit our effects on climate change?
Writing prompts

Most scientists agree that human activity is creating climate change. First, explain why taking care of the planet for ourselves and for future generation is important. Then suggest what measures might be taken to minimize our contribution to climate change? Think both on a large scale as well as things that everyone can do on a daily basis.

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