A new Gallup poll finds that "most Americans believe it will be a decade or more before the manifestations of global warming begin to wreak havoc."
Meanwhile, from Seth Borenstein’s account of the leaked draft of the IPCC WGII report (which I wrote about here):
“Changes in climate are now affecting physical and biological systems on every continent,” the report says, in marked contrast to a 2001 report by the same international group that said the effects of global warming were coming. But that report only mentioned scattered regional effects.
“Things are happening and happening faster than we expected,” said Patricia Romero Lankao of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., one of the many co-authors of the new report.
And here’s some of the magical delights we can look forward to in coming years:
* Hundreds of millions of Africans and tens of millions of Latin Americans who now have water will be short of it in less than 20 years. By 2050, more than 1 billion people in Asia could face water shortages. By 2080, water shortages could threaten 1.1 billion to 3.2 billion people, depending on the level of greenhouse gases that cars and industry spew into the air.
* Death rates for the world’s poor from global warming-related illnesses, such as malnutrition and diarrhea, will rise by 2030. Malaria and dengue fever, as well as illnesses from eating contaminated shellfish, are likely to grow.
* Europe’s small glaciers will disappear with many of the continent’s large glaciers shrinking dramatically by 2050. And half of Europe’s plant species could be vulnerable, endangered or extinct by 2100.
* By 2080, between 200 million and 600 million people could be hungry because of global warming’s effects.
* About 100 million people each year could be flooded by 2080 by rising seas.
* Smog in U.S. cities will worsen and “ozone-related deaths from climate (will) increase by approximately 4.5 percent for the mid-2050s, compared with 1990s levels,” turning a small health risk into a substantial one.
* Polar bears in the wild and other animals will be pushed to extinction.
* At first, more food will be grown. For example, soybean and rice yields in Latin America will increase starting in a couple of years. Areas outside the tropics, especially the northern latitudes, will see longer growing seasons and healthier forests.
Nonetheless, Midwesterners have “no alternative” but to build a bunch of coal plants. Sorry, Africans and Latin Americans and glaciers and hungry people and flooded people and diseased people and polar bears!