The Time is Now for Global Warming Action

The United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)--the world's leading authority on global warming--released a report on the effects of a warming climate on wildlife and the environment.

According to the report, approximately 20-30 percent of plant and animal species are likely to be at increased risk of extinction due to global warming.

While the changing climate will impact every person on the world, we have the opportunity to reduce those impacts. It's time for America to take the lead on global warming solutions! Sign below and we'll send this pledge, which includes a summary of the report, to your representative so they can begin to act.

Dear [Decision Maker],

As a supporter of the National Wildlife Federation and someone who greatly appreciates wildlife and the outdoors, I wanted to share a few findings from the Working Group II Contribution to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, released on April 6, 2007.

This report highlights a number of concerns I have about how global warming will affect our world, and while it says that the changing climate will impact every person on the world, the opportunity to reduce those impacts is doable.

I hope this report will inspire you to support or continue championing strong global warming legislation that not only sets a mandatory limit on carbon pollution, but also includes funding to help wildlife adapt.

These bullet points are just some of the many findings from the report. To learn more about global warming and read the full IPCC summary, please visit


* Hydrological systems are being affected around the world, including increased run-off and earlier spring peak discharge in many glacier- and snow-fed rivers and warming of lakes and rivers in many regions.

* There is very high confidence, based on more evidence from a wider range of species, that recent warming is strongly affecting terrestrial biological systems, including (1) earlier timing of spring events, such as leaf-unfolding, bird migration and egg-laying and poleward and upward shifts in ranges in plant and animal species.

* Rising water temperatures are affecting marine and freshwater biological systems, changing ice cover, salinity, oxygen levels and circulation, as well as algal, plankton and fish abundance in high-latitude oceans. It is also contributing to earlier migrations of fish in rivers.

* Corals are vulnerable to thermal stress and have low adaptive capacity. Increases in sea surface temperature of about 1 to 3 degrees C are projected to result in more frequent coral bleaching events and widespread mortality, unless there is thermal adaptation or acclimatisation by corals.

* Coastal wetlands including salt marshes and mangroves are projected to be negatively affected by sea-level rise especially where they are constrained on their landward side, or starved of sediment.

* Significant loss of biodiversity is projected to occur by 2020 in some ecologically-rich sites including the Great Barrier Reef and Queensland Wet Tropics. Other sites at risk include Kakadu wetlands, south-west Australia, sub-Antarctic islands and the alpine areas of both countries.

* In the Polar Regions, the main projected biophysical effects are reductions in thickness and extent of glaciers and ice sheets, and changes in natural ecosystems with detrimental effects on many organisms including migratory birds, mammals and higher predators.

* The resilience of many ecosystems is likely to be exceeded this century by an unprecedented combination of climate change, associated disturbances (e.g., flooding, drought, wildfire, insects, ocean acidification), and other global change drivers (e.g., land use change, pollution, over-exploitation of resources).


* North America is especially vulnerable to changes in weather and climate extremes, such as heat waves, severe storms, hurricanes, floods, droughts and wildfires.

* Coastal communities and habitats, especially along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts, will be stressed by increasing sea level and more intense storms interacting with development and pollution.

* Climate change will put added pressures on demands for water resources in North America, increasing competition among agricultural, municipal, industrial and ecological uses.

* Wildfires and insect outbreaks are increasing and are likely to intensify in a warmer future with drier soils and longer growing seasons.

* North American animals are already responding to climate change, with observed shifts in the seasonal timing of life-cycle events, migration, reproduction, dormancy and geographic range.


Approximately 20-30% of plant and animal species assessed so far are likely to be at increased risk of extinction if increases in global average temperature exceed 1.5-2.5 degrees C above present levels.

For increases in global average temperature exceeding 1.5-2.5 degrees C above present levels and in the associated atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations, there are projected to be major changes in ecosystem structure and function, species' ecological interactions, and species' geographic ranges, with predominantly negative consequences for biodiversity, and ecosystem goods and services e.g., water and food supply.


Please champion strong global warming legislation that puts us on a path toward reducing global warming pollution by 2% per year. Currently in the House, this goal is a part of Rep. Waxman's "Safe Climate Act" (H.R. 1590) and Reps. Olver and Gilchrest's "Climate Stewardship Act" (H.R. 620).

Thank you very much.

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