"Human activities have transformed the planet at a pace and scale unmatched in recorded history, causing irreversible damage to communities and ecosystems, according to one of the most definitive reports ever published about climate change," reports Sarah Kaplan of The Washington Post. "Leading scientists warned that the world’s plans to combat these changes are inadequate and that more aggressive actions must be taken to avert catastrophic warming."

The warning comes in a report issued Monday by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which "found the world is likely to miss its most ambitious climate target — limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above preindustrial temperatures — within a decade," Kaplan rpeorts. "Beyond that threshold, scientists have found, climate disasters will become so extreme people cannot adapt. Heat waves, famines and infectious diseases will claim millions of additional lives. Basic components of the Earth system will be fundamentally, irrevocably altered."

Citing the report, U.N. Secretary General António Guterres said the U.S. and other highly developed countries must eliminate carbon emissions by 2040, a decade earlier than the rest of the world. He called the report a “how-to guide to defuse the climate time-bomb,” and said “The choices and actions implemented in this decade will have impacts now and for thousands of years.”

Climate change has "caused irrevocable damage to communities and ecosystems," Kaplan writes. "Fish populations are dwindling, farms are less productive, infectious diseases have multiplied, and weather disasters are escalating to unheard of extremes. The risks from this relatively low level of warming are turning out to be greater than scientists anticipated — not because of any flaw in their research, but because human-built infrastructure, social networks and economic systems have proved exceptionally vulnerable to even small amounts of climate change, the report said."

Read the full article about climate change by Al Cross at The Rural Blog.