An article by Matt McGrath, BBC News.

Senior scientists and government officials are meeting in Japan to agree a critical report on the impact of global warming.

Members of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will publish their first update in seven years on the scale of the threat.

Leaked documents speak of significant effects on economies, food supplies and security.

But some attendees say the summary, due out next Monday, is far too alarmist.

This will be the second of a trilogy of reports on the causes, effects and solutions to climate change, from a body made up of some of the leading researchers in the world.

Long-term perspective

Last September in Stockholm, they produced a summary on the physical science of climate change, arguing that it was real, and humans were the “dominant cause”.

Now in Yokohama, the second IPCC working group will set out the impact that rising temperatures will have on humans, animals and ecosystems over the next century.

The scientists and government officials will agree on the exact wording of the final summary over the next few days, with publication coming early next Monday, UK time.

The summary is a short, dense document that sums up the findings of 30 underlying chapters, each made up of detailed assessments of relevant research that has been published since 2007.

A leaked draft of the summary, seen by the BBC, points to a range of negative effects that will, in some instances, be “irreversible”.

Millions of people living in coastal areas in Asia will be affected by flooding, and displaced due to land loss.

The draft says that crop yields around the world will decline by up to 2% per decade for the rest of the century.

If the world warms by 4C towards the end of this century, this will pose a “significant risk to food security even with adaptation”.

The summary says that in the near term, at levels of warming that scientists say we are already committed to, there is a very high risk to Arctic sea ice and coral reefs.

They warn that the oceans will become more acidic as they warm, and species will move towards the poles to escape the heat.

The researchers say that in this report they have been able to call on a broader range of observations. Instead of just adding up all the effects, saying that together they suggest an influence of climate change, they have been able to look at individual events.

“We’ve reached the stage where we can go impact by impact, and say is there an influence of climate change?” Dr Chris Field, co-chair of Working Group II told BBC News.

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