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A recent United Nations science report on climate change is warning of even more dire consequences from global warming than previously thought. According to two UN officials familiar with the draft report, the document illustrates how climate change exacerbates poverty and threats to food and water security.

The report highlights how climate change will undermine the ability of countries to provide basic services like sanitation, energy access, and transportation safety. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report is the result of work by more than 100 experts from 39 different countries. It outlines the dangers posed by global temperature increases and other effects the scientists say are now irreversible.

As the climate continues to change, more people will face poverty and food/water shortages. The IPCC report finds that 350 million additional people may suffer from poverty by 2030 due to climate change. By 2050, up to 118 million people could become climate change migrants, displaced from their homes due to sea level rise, more extreme storms, droughts and heatwaves. Tropical rainforests, which are vital for holding down carbon and sustaining life, are under threat of disappearing completely.

Fresh water sources are also at risk due to shrinking snow and ice cover and changes in rainfall patterns. Up to 1 billion additional people could face water scarcity by 2050 according to the IPCC report. Increased floods and landslides threaten infrastructure like roads, bridges and dams which provide clean water, hydropower and protection from storms. Altered weather patterns also mean changes in agricultural productivity which jeopardize global food supplies.

The science is now clear that global temperatures must be kept well below 2°C to avoid catastrophic consequences. Urgent action is needed on emissions reductions, transitioning to renewable energy and making communities more resilient. The next decade is critical in securing a livable future for all according to scientists. But current pledges under the Paris Agreement are insufficient emissions must be cut almost in half by 2030 to keep warming below 2°C.

The IPCC report provides a stark and sobering counterpoint to economic arguments for continuing business as usual. The costs of climate change far outweigh any benefits of fossil fuel use or other activities fueling the climate crisis. Protecting human civilization itself is now at stake if bold actions are not taken immediately to fight climate change. The science holds the key to unlocking the solutions, but political will and collective action are also urgently needed.