The new International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, published 31 March 2014, is clear.  The effects of climate change are already occurring on all continents and across the oceans. The world, in many cases, is ill-prepared for risks from a changing climate. The poorest and most vulnerable people in the world are hardest hit.

The report, titled Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability, from Working Group II of the IPCC, details the impacts of climate change to date, the future risks from a changing climate, and the opportunities for effective action to reduce risks.

309 coordinating lead authors and review editors from 70 countries produced the report, with 436 contributing authors and 1,729 expert and government reviewers.

“We live in an era of man-made climate change,” said Vicente Barros, Co-Chair of Working Group II. “In many cases, we are not prepared for the climate-related risks that we already face." 

IPCC press release  

IPCC detailed summary for policy-makers

Responses

In response, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Edward Davey said“This report represents the most comprehensive look at the impacts of climate change ever written... The science has clearly spoken. Left unchecked, climate change will impact on many aspects of our society, with far reaching consequences to human health, global food security and economic development."

The Foreign Secretary, William Hague, said: "It is clear from the IPCC’s report that a two degree increase in the world’s temperature would be dangerous, and four degrees would be catastrophic. But that is the likely trajectory.........’ and the Foreign Secretary’s Special Representative for Climate Change, Sir David King, agreed that action is required now: "We must avoid the impacts of dangerous climate change. "

Campaign against Climate Changes statement on the report.

Blog by Sir Mark Walport, Chief Scientific Adviser to HM Government and Head of the Government Office for Science.

Climate Progress commentary: "as with every recent IPCC report, it is super-cautious to a fault and yet still incredibly alarming".

Also from Climate Progress:  “... out of all 10,855 climate studies published in peer-review journals during 2013, only two of them explicitly rejected anthropogenic global warming”. That means 0.02% say that human activities don't contribute to climate change.

Extracts

It is very clear from the IPCC report that climate change will increasingly harm the most vulnerable people. Here are some quotations:

Extreme weather – “climate-change-related risks from extreme events, such as heat waves, extreme precipitation, and coastal flooding, are already moderate and high with 1°C additional warming. Risks are unevenly distributed and are generally greater for disadvantaged people and communities in countries at all levels of development.”
 
Food – “climate change has negatively affected wheat and maize yields for many regions and in the global aggregate” whilst further climate change brings “risk of food insecurity and the breakdown of food systems linked to warming, drought, flooding, and precipitation variability and extremes, particularly for poorer populations in urban and rural settings”.
 
Water – further climate change brings “risk of loss of rural livelihoods and income due to insufficient access to drinking and irrigation water and reduced agricultural productivity, particularly for farmers and pastoralists with minimal capital in semi-arid regions.”
 
Health – “Throughout the 21st century, climate change is expected to lead to increases in ill-health in many regions and especially in developing countries with low income, as compared to a baseline without climate change.”
 
Fisheries – “Risk of loss of marine and coastal ecosystems, biodiversity, and the ecosystem goods, functions, and services they provide for coastal livelihoods, especially for fishing communities in the tropics and the Arctic”.