Earlier this week, the World Bank published a new report called “Turn Down the Heat” with catastrophic figures, as to their projections, global temperatures could rise by 4°C by 2100.
As this venerable institution notes, this would have catastrophic consequences for the world’s poorest as extreme weather, decreasing crops quantities, biodiversity loss, water scarcity and rising sea levels will hit them the most.
This leads the World Bank’s President to state that ” We will never end poverty if we don’t tackle climate change. It is one of the single biggest challenges to social justice today “.
Here is the beginning of Dr. Jim Yong Kim’s foreword to the report :
It is my hope that this report shocks us into action. Even for those of us already committed to fighting climate change, I hope it causes us to work with much more urgency.
The 4°C scenarios are devastating: the inundation of coastal cities; increasing risks for food production potentially leading to higher malnutrition rates; many dry regions becoming dryer, wet regions wetter; unprecedented heat waves in many regions, especially in the tropics; substantially exacerbated water scarcity in many regions; increased frequency of high-intensity tropical cyclones; and irreversible loss of biodiversity, including coral reef systems.
And most importantly, a 4°C world is so different from the current one that it comes with high uncertainty and new risks that threaten our ability to anticipate and plan for future adaptation needs.
The lack of action on climate change not only risks putting prosperity out of reach of millions of people in the developing world, it threatens to roll back decades of sustainable development.
It is clear that we already know a great deal about the threat before us. The science is unequivocal that humans are the cause of global warming, and major changes are already being observed: global mean warming is 0.8°C above pre industrial levels; oceans have warmed by 0.09°C since the 1950s and are acidifying; sea levels rose by about 20 cm since pre-industrial times and are now rising at 3.2 cm per decade; an exceptional number of extreme heat waves occurred in the last decade; major food crop growing areas are increasingly affected by drought.
Despite the global community’s best intentions to keep global warming below a 2°C increase above pre-industrial climate, higher levels of warming are increasingly likely.
Scientists agree that countries’ current United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change emission pledges and commitments would most likely result in 3.5 to 4°C warming. And the longer those pledges remain unmet, the more likely a 4°C world becomes.
Source : the report, in PDF.
If this report, published by the personification of market economies and liberalism (and not by a bunch of green NGOs which could be seen as carrying out their own agendas) doesn’t get our elected representatives to act much more on climate change, I wonder what ever will…
Please read Grist’s excellent post on that matter for more information.
According to some other new studies released earlier, an increase of temperatures by four degrees Celsius by 2100 is most unfortunately possible. As the Washington Post noted :
“ Warming is likely to be on the high side of the projections,” said John Fasullo of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., a co-author of the report, which was based on satellite measurements of the atmosphere.
” That means the world could be in for a devastating increase of about eight degrees Fahrenheit by 2100. ” Or around four degrees Celcius more…