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Asunto:[LEA-Venezuela] Global warming report details impacts on people and nature
Fecha:Martes, 20 de Febrero, 2001  21:51:56 (-0400)
Autor:Amigos en Defensa de la Gran Sabana.AMIGRANSA/ Orinoco Oilwatch <amigrans>

Global warming report details impacts on people and nature 
Bonn/Geneva/Nairobi, 19 February 2001 -- 
The second volume of a major climate change 
report describing in greater detail than ever before how global warming 
could impact civilization andthe natural environment has been finalized 
here by an international group of leading scientists. 
Last month's report by Working Group I of the Intergovernmental Panel on 
Climate Change 
(IPCC) confirmed the increasingly strong evidence for humanity's influence 
on the global climate. It 
also projected that the globally-averaged temperature of the air above the 
Earth's surface would rise by 
1.4 -- 5.8░C over the next 100 years. 
Today's report by Working Group II analyses how this general warming will 
affect Africa, Asia, Europe and other regions over the coming decades. 
While highlighting remaining uncertainties, it 
details expected changes in weather patterns, water resources, the cycling 
of the seasons, ecosystems, extreme climate events, and much more. The 
report is an objective assessment of the most up-to-date, peer-reviewed 
scientific research available. 
"Climate change is a stress that will be superimposed over expected 
population and other environmental stresses," said Professor G.O.P. Obasi, 
Secretary-General of the World Meteorological  Organization (WMO), which, 
together with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), 
launched the IPCC in 1988. "Life as we know it today on the planet will be 
forced to respond to the shift to a warmer world. We have to use mitigation 
and adaptation strategies to face the changes while not forgetting to 
improve our knowledge basis. Every natural and socio-economic system 
appears to be 
vulnerable to climate change. However, it is the least developed countries 
that are the most vulnerable." 
Klaus Toepfer, Executive Director of UNEP, said "The scientists have shown 
us a compelling snapshot of what the Earth -- which already faces so many 
other social and environmental pressures -- will probably look like later 
in the 21st century." 
"In addition to minimizing global warming through cuts in greenhouse gas 
emissions, we need to understand the powerful changes our industrial 
economy has set into motion and anticipate them. We 
must start helping vulnerable species and ecosystems adapt to new climate 
conditions. Governments should already factor these new conditions into 
their long-term investment and planning decisions," he said. 
The report concludes that our future ability to satisfy human needs will be 
affected -- both positively and negatively -- by changes in agricultural 
conditions; by local and regional trends in droughts, floods, and storms; 
by unforeseen stresses on buildings and other long-standing 
infrastructure; by altered disease and health risks; and much more. 
"The new IPCC report has powerful implications for how we deal with poverty 
and sustainable development over the coming decades," said Michael Zammit 
Cutajar, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on 
Climate Change. 
"No country can afford to ignore the coming transformation of its natural 
and human environment The poor and the vulnerable are at greatest risk. 
This report is a timely reminder that we need to pay more attention to the 
costs of inaction, and that the costs of action to cut emissions are just 
part of the climate change equation," he said. 
Many of the physical changes that scientists have assessed as being 
consistent with global warming can already be witnessed today. The extent 
of Arctic sea-ice has shrunk by about 10-15%, while Antarctic sea ice 
retreated south by 2.8 degrees of latitude from the mid 1950s to the early 
Alaska's boreal forests are expanding northwards at a rate of about 100 
kilometres per 1░C rise. Ice cover on lakes and rivers in the mid-to-high 
Northern latitudes now lasts for about two weeks less than it did 150 years 
In the European Alps, some plant species have been migrating upwards by one 
to four metres each decade. Across Europe, the growing season in controlled 
mixed-species gardens lengthened by 10.8 days from 1959 to 1993. In Europe 
and North America, migratory birds now arrive earlier in the 
spring and depart later in the autumn. Butterflies, beetles, dragonflies, 
and other insects are now found further north, where it was previously too 
cold for them to survive. 
In large parts of Eastern Europe, European Russia, central Canada and 
California, peak stream flows have shifted from spring to winter, as more 
precipitation falls as rain rather than as snow. In Asia, 
67% of the glaciers in the Himalayan and Tianshan mountain ranges (which 
feed some major rivers) have retreated during the past decade. 
These trends are expected to continue through the 21st century and beyond. 
In parts of Africa, desertification is expected to worsen in response to 
reduced rainfall, runoff and soil moisture. In many 
Asian countries, declines in agricultural productivity will diminish food 
security, while sea-level rise and an increase in the intensity of tropical 
cyclones could displace tens of millions of people in low- 
lying coastal areas. In Australia and New Zealand, water is likely to 
become a key issue due to projected drying trends over much of the region. 
The risk of flooding will increase across much of Europe. In Latin America, 
floods anddroughts will become more frequent and vector-borne infectious 
diseases will expand poleward. In North America, sea-level rise is expected 
to enhance coastal erosion and flooding and the risk of storm 
surges, particularly in Florida and along much of the US Atlantic coast. 
Small island states are likely to be among the countries most seriously 
affected by climatechange. In all regions, developing countries will have 
difficulties adapting to climate change. 
Note to journalists: For more information, please contact 
UNEP Spokesman Tore Brevik at +254-2- 
623292 or tore.brevik@..., 
WMO Spokesman Taysir Al-Ghanem at +41-22-730-8315 or Al- 
ghanem_t@..., orsUNFCCC press officer Michel Smitall at 
+49-228-8151005 or 
See also for a series of useful and downloadable graphs, for official documents about the climate talks, and for additional 
background information. 
AMIGRANSA.   Sociedad de Amigos en Defensa de la Gran Sabana 
Direccion:   Apartado Postal 50460.Caracas 1050-A. Venezuela 
Tel y Fax   +58 2 992 1884 / Tel +58 2 693 9480 
e-mail:     <amigrans@...> 
Comite Ejecutivo: Ing Alicia Garcia S., Lic. Maria Eugenia Bustamante Rivas, 
Arq. Ligia Parra, Lic.Carolina Aular G., Arq. Andreina Zegarra 
La Sociedad de Amigos en defensa de la Gran Sabana es una 
asociacion civil sin fines de lucro,constituida en abril de 1986 
para la preservacion, conservacion y defensa del patrimonio ecologico 
y cultural dela Gran Sabana-Parque Nacional Canaima -Tierra de Tepuis- 
y de todas aquellas areas pertenecientes al Macizo Guayanes, y a la 
defensa de los derechos de los Pueblos indigenas que alli habitan. 
Nos hemos sumado a esta causa por un profundo amor a la naturaleza 
y porque estamos convencidos que el repeto al mundo natural y a 
las leyes ecologicas, son una de las vias primordiales hacia 
el bienestar y la supervivencia de la humanidad. 
AMIGRANSA la integran un grupo de profesionales de distintas 
disciplinas,jovenes estudiantes y una amplia red de colaboradores 
formada por habitantes de la Gran Sabana, cientificos y otros amantes 
de la naturaleza.El trabajo en AMIGRANSA esta basado en el voluntariado. 
e-mail: AMIGRANSA/ORINOCO-OILWATCH <amigrans@...> 
En el mes de agosto de 1996,la organizaci█n ambientalista venezolana 
AMIGRANSA- Sociedad de Amigos en defensa de la Gran Sabana, 
promueve la creaci█n de la RED ALERTA PETROLERA (Orinoco-Oilwatch), 
filial venezolana de OILWATCH, organizaci█n internacional de resistencia 
a la actividad petrolera en los tr█picos y vigilancia de los impactos 
ambientales y sociales de dicha actividad, nacida en Quito Ecuador. 
La RED ALERTA PETROLERA se ha propuesto como objetivo especial 
investigar los efectos socio-ambientales de la apertura petrolera 
venezolana al capital privado extranjero y nacional,que se inicio con 
"asociaciones estrat╚gicas" en la faja petrol╠fera del Orinoco, 
joint ventures segÖn esquema de "ganancias compartidas" y 
la entrega de campos productivos maduros para su ocupaci█n por 
empresas privadas. Estas operaciones cubren el pa╠s de extremo a extremo, 
pero se ha considerado prioritario por su urgencia y su gravedad, 
el estudio de la problemĚtica de la zona Delta del Orinoco/ Paria en 
el extremo oriente del pa╠s, en la desembocadura del R╠o Orinoco, 
habitat de la ╚tnia ind╠gena Warao, las secuelas de la 
explotaci█n de petr█leo carb█n y gas en Zulia y la deuda ecol█gica. 
Sus voceros forman parte de grupos ecologistas, culturales, 
instituciones academicas y de investigacion, grupos defensores de los 
derechos humanos,de Pueblos Indigenas, grupos de pescadores, y otras 
poblaciones locales afectados por los impactos de los mega-proyectos petroleros.

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