IPCC Workgroup II Reaches Agreement 6 April 2007

The IPCC Workgroup II has reached the core of impacts having to do with Climate Change. Bringing together 174 lead authors, 222 contributors and 45 review editors, the second chapter of the 4th IPCC report brought forth the important issues of concern policy makers will have to face in the near future. After long discussions lasting all night, an advisory response to Climate Change has finally reached a consensus. This report is to stand as a common base line between the scientific community and participating policy makers.

Bringing together 30-year data sets, key impacts were determined in various parts of the world. The Arctic region was mentioned by Martin Perry, one of the co-Chairs on this Workgroup, as one of the most affected regions, having now reached a tipping point. Amongst the most vulnerable ecosystems, areas of sea ice, permafrost , tundra and boreal forests stood in the lead.

As put forward by coordinating lead author of Chapter 15 on Arctic and Antarctic regions, Oleg Anisimov, climate change should not be sensationalized. "While serious increases on greenhouse emissions can be expected from the melting of the permafrost in Arctic regions, [...] one must also bear in mind the beneficial impacts the warming of this region will have on various elements such as heating savings, human health and agriculture." As for David Vaughan, other coordinating lead author of Chapter 15, we can expect new transportation routes and resources to become available, however, new sovereignty issues will have to be negotiated in light of the changing situation.

As land use and resource usage will have to be rethought, Mr. Anisimov is, on the whole, optimistic over our human potential of adaptation.