Polar bears are suffering the effects of climate change right now, but so are we.

© Dan Guravich/Polar Bears International

3/25/2014 8:33:42 PM

Climate Change Effects Happening Now

A warming planet, catastrophic weather events, and the melting of Greenland's "most stable" glacier are not part of an apocalyptic future. They are the results of global climate change happening right now, according to a report the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will release at the end of this week.

The dangers of a warming Earth aren't limited to animals like polar bears. They're immediate and very human, the report says.

"The polar bear is us," says Patricia Romero Lankao of the federally financed National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., referring to the first species to be listed as threatened by global warming due to melting sea ice.

She will be among the more than 60 scientists in Japan to finish writing a massive and authoritative report on the impacts of global warming. With representatives from about 100 governments at this week's meeting of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, they'll wrap up a summary that tells world leaders how bad the problem is.

According to US News, "The key message from leaked drafts and interviews with the authors and other scientists: The big risks and overall effects of global warming are far more immediate and local than scientists once thought. It's not just about melting ice, threatened animals and plants. It's about the human problems of hunger, disease, drought, flooding, refugees and war, becoming worse."

Read more: It's not polar bears, but humans most at risk from global warming, mega-report says 

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