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
NASA examines Peru's deadly rainfall
24.03.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Steep rise of the Bernese Alps
24.03.2017 | Universität Bern
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy