Weather extremes such as heat waves that up to now were highly unusual are likely to become the new normal, according to a report by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) now launched by the World Bank. Climate Change impacts are already being felt today and will grow even if warming is limited below 2 degrees. However, with unabated warming of probably 4 degrees within our century, the consequences increase drastically. The report is the third in a series, entitled “Turn down the heat” by the World Bank.
The new report focuses on how climate impacts and social vulnerability interact, or how the poor are hit hardest in Latin America and the Caribbean, Middle East and North Africa, and East and Central Asia.
“The impacts in the various regions around the world are enormously diverse, yet two things become clear in our report: almost no region will ultimately be safe, and the risk for the people on the ground is greatest in places where several impacts overlap,” says Christopher Reyer of PIK who coordinated the report that is a result of a cooperation with Climate Analytics (CA) and the UK Overseas Development Institute (ODI). “In cities in the Andes mountains, for instance, populations are likely to experience seasonal water scarcity, while in the same time food prices will increase and extreme weather events create additional stress.”
**Analyzing science to nderstand the risks**
It is this risk perspective that is a defining characteristic of the “Turn down the heat” reports, says Reyer. “We analyze existing climate science findings to identify which are the impacts that really make a difference.” Bill Hare, also a lead author of the report, adds: “Assessing the entire chain of climate impacts - for example, how heat waves trigger crop yield declines and how those trigger health impacts - is key to understanding the risks that climate change poses to development.”
The results are worrying. In the Caribbean, coral reefs are threatened of significantly higher probabilities of annual bleaching already at 1.5-2 degrees warming, affecting fisheries, tourism and coastal hurricane protection. At 4 degrees, most of the land area in all regions studied will be affected by highly unusual and potentially devastating heat extremes.
**“Impacts hit the global poor” - but there are options for action**
“Tackling climate change is a matter of reason, but also of justice,” says the report’s lead-author Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, director of PIK. “Global warming impacts in the next decades are likely to hit those hardest that contributed least to global greenhouse gas emissions: the global poor.” Developing countries are expected to experience the most severe climate impacts, notably in the tropics, while lacking the means to build resilience. And within these countries, again those parts of the population with the least means are most vulnerable to additional stress.
Climate change impacts hence “make it more difficult to reduce poverty and put in jeopardy the livelihoods of millions of people. They also have serious consequences for development budgets, and for institutions like the World Bank Group, where our investments, support and advice must now also build resilience and help affected populations adapt,” says Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank Group. “The good news is that we can take action that reduces the rate of climate change and promotes economic growth, ultimately stopping our journey down this dangerous path. World leaders and policy makers should embrace affordable solutions like carbon pricing and policy choices that shift investment to clean public transport, cleaner energy and more energy efficient factories, buildings and appliances.”
Weblink to the report: http://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/climatechange/publication/turn-down-the-heat
Weblink to Worldbank press release: http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2014/11/23/new-climate-normal-poses-severe-risks
For further information please contact:
PIK press office
Phone: +49 331 288 2507
Jonas Viering | PIK Potsdam
Six-decade-old space mystery solved with shoebox-sized satellite called a CubeSat
15.12.2017 | National Science Foundation
NSF-funded researchers find that ice sheet is dynamic and has repeatedly grown and shrunk
15.12.2017 | National Science Foundation
DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.
Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...
MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.
Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...
Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...
Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.
To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...
The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
07.12.2017 | Event News
15.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
15.12.2017 | Materials Sciences
15.12.2017 | Life Sciences