The second report (in a series of three) from the International Panel on Climate Change came out today, and if you're looking for place where you can escape the consequences of global warming, look north.
Higher temperatures, shrinking water supplies and the spread of insects and diseases once generally confined to tropical regions are some of the problems that await many parts of the world. Here are a few samples from the report (PDF):
--Settlements in mountain regions will become more susceptible to flooding from glacier-fed lakes. River runoff in fact will increase by 10 to 40 percent in high latitudes and shrink by 10 to 30 percent in the midlatitudes by midcentury. That means a mix of good and bad news for Canada and Russia, but bad news for the Mediterranean. It's bad for China too, which depends on glaciers to retain its water.
--Sea level increases will lead to further coastal erosion.
--Droughts and shorter growing seasons will hit Southern Africa and the Sahel region.
--Roughly 20 to 30 percent of the plant and animal species on earth will experience an increased risk of extinction if temperatures rise in the expected 1.5-2.5 degree Celsius range.
--Shell-forming organisms in the ocean will be impacted in all likelihood by increased acidification.
--Deaths from droughts, storms and fires will increase. Deaths from exposure to cold, however, will decline.
--The global timber industry will rise in the short and medium term, and sailing around the polar regions will be better. Again, Canada and Russia may benefit. But fisheries will decline, and northern countries will also experience a loss of species and unstable grounds.