Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

„Confronting the new normal“: World Bank launches PIK climate report

24.11.2014

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
E-Mail: press@pik-potsdam.de
Twitter: @PIK_Climate

Jonas Viering | PIK Potsdam

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht The melting ice makes the sea around Greenland less saline
16.10.2017 | Aarhus University

nachricht WSU researchers document one of planet's largest volcanic eruptions
12.10.2017 | Washington State University

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

Im Focus: New nanomaterial can extract hydrogen fuel from seawater

Hybrid material converts more sunlight and can weather seawater's harsh conditions

It's possible to produce hydrogen to power fuel cells by extracting the gas from seawater, but the electricity required to do it makes the process costly. UCF...

Im Focus: Small collisions make big impact on Mercury's thin atmosphere

Mercury, our smallest planetary neighbor, has very little to call an atmosphere, but it does have a strange weather pattern: morning micro-meteor showers.

Recent modeling along with previously published results from NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft -- short for Mercury Surface, Space Environment, Geochemistry and...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Taking screening methods to the next level

17.10.2017 | Life Sciences

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

‘Find the Lady’ in the quantum world

17.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>