severe climate advisoryClimate change is already having big impacts on the natural world and notable effects on human societies, according to the latest climate report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, being released on Friday. In short, climate change isn’t in the future; it’s in the right now.

The previous installment from the IPCC, released in early February, concluded with at least 90 percent certainty that humans are causing global warming. This latest report says with 80 percent certainty that human-driven global warming is already triggering ecosystem changes around the globe.

Not all of the news in the report is bad — just the vast majority. A few quick and dirty highlights about what we might expect in a toastier world, gleaned from early reports in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and the BBC:

The good bits:

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  • higher agricultural output in northern regions, at least for a while
  • some health benefits, such as fewer deaths from cold

The bad bits:

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  • lower agricultural output in most regions of the world
  • more infectious-disease outbreaks
  • more heat waves
  • more storms
  • more wildfires
  • more droughts
  • more hunger
  • disruption of species migration, contributing to …
  • risk of extinction for 20 to 30 percent of species
  • more melting of mountain glaciers, alpine snows, and ice fields, contributing to …
  • risk of water shortages for one billion people
  • rising sea levels, contributing to …
  • more flooding in coastal areas
  • major declines in coral
  • disruption of seasonal changes
  • more weeds and insect pests
  • more death, disease, and injury for many of the world’s people — and not the ones who’ve been largely responsible for the problem

Says IPCC chair Rajendra Pachauri, “the poorest of the poor are most likely to be hit by the impacts of climate change.”

We can hardly wait for the next IPCC installment in May …