The Latest: UN official concerned, hopeful on climate change

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FILE – This Monday, July 30, 2018 file photo shows rows of soybean plants in a field near Bennington, Neb. A report by the United Nations released on Thursday, Aug. 8, 2019 says that human-caused climate change is dramatically degrading the planet’s land, while the way people use the Earth is making global warming worse. The vicious cycle is already making food more expensive, scarcer and even less nutritious, as well as cutting the number of species on Earth, according to a special report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on a new United Nations report on climate change (all times local):

3:10 p.m.

A manager in the U.N. Climate Change secretariat who helped write a new report on the subject, said the grueling work by the volunteer authors was “like a dentist’s appointment for six days” and left her with both concerns and hopes that people will unite and respond to the threats of climate change.

Koko Warner, who contributed to a chapter on risk management and decision-making, told the AP that: “I’ve lost a lot of sleep about what the science is saying. As a person, it’s pretty scary. We need to act urgently.”

Speaking Thursday after the report was presented at the World Meteorological Organization’s headquarters in Geneva, she added: “But all of us as volunteers are united in this cause of making sure that policymakers understand the risk to humans, to ecosystems, and to make sure those policymakers as well as citizens, my kids, people on the street, that they have options.”

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11:30 a.m.

A new United Nations science report on climate change says cutting down trees is making the world hotter and hungrier.

Although the report doesn’t pinpoint any country, scientists, when asked, pointed a finger at Brazil’s recent stepped-up deforestation of the Amazon.

Hans-Otto Portner, a panel leader from Germany, said: “It contradicts all the messages that are coming out of the report.”

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11:15 a.m.

A new United Nations science panel says that if the world eats less meat and more plant-based food it will help fight climate change. But scientists emphasize they aren’t telling you what to eat.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Chairman Hoesung Lee says the panel doesn’t make consumer choices, just recommendations for government leaders.

When pressed, however, about half a dozen of the scientists raised their hands to say they’ve reduced their personal diets because of climate change, with one of them saying it helped him lose weight and feel healthier.

Hans-Otto Portner, a panel leader from Germany, told a reporter that if she ate less ribs and more vegetables “that’s a good decision and you will help the planet reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

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10:01 a.m.

A new United Nations scientific report says climate change is hitting us where it counts: the stomach — not to mention the forests, plants and animals.

The report examines how global warming and land interact in a vicious cycle. Human-caused climate change is dramatically degrading the land, while the way people use the land is making global warming worse.

Thursday’s science-laden report says the combination is already making food more expensive, scarcer and even less nutritious.

But scientists say if people change the way they eat, grow food and manage forests, it could help save the planet from a far warmer future.

Earth’s land masses, which are only 30% of the globe, are warming twice as fast as the planet as a whole.

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