Climate change -
According to report published by the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change,
at the current rate of carbon emissions, global
average temperatures could rise about 2°C by
Unless urgent action aren't taken now the world
could faces terrifying consequences.
According to the IPCC report
250 million people will be forced to leave their
homes between now and 2050. There could be acute water shortages for 1-3 billion people,
30 million more people could be going hungry as
agricultural yields go into recession across the
More facts from The report
Sea levels could rise up to
95cm by the end of the century, submerging 18%
A 1°C rise which is expected by 2020, would see an extra
240 million people experiencing water ‘stress’ –
where supply can no longer be stretched to meet
The predicted 1.3°C rise by 2025 would see tens
of millions more going hungry due to falling
agricultural yields in the developing world and
rising global food prices.
Possible Problems in Poor
However bad the consequences of climate change will be far, far more
devastating for vulnerable people in poor
Climate change is also clearly a development
issue since its adverse effects will
disproportionately affect poorer countries. (
Report European Commission, 2003.)
It’s getting hot
Since 1850, a period in which today’s richest
countries have industrialised rapidly, levels of
greenhouse gas carbon dioxide in our atmosphere
have risen 28%; methane levels are 112% higher.
The world’s surface temperatures are rising more
rapidly than at any point in the last 10,000
The 1990s were the hottest decade since records
began – and the temperature rises are speeding
Death and disease
An estimated 150,000 people die annually from
diseases that the changing climate has
encouraged to grow.
Warmer, wetter weather will see malaria, which
currently kills up to 3 million people a year,
spread to new territories – there is evidence
that it has already encroached into previously
cool highland areas of Rwanda and Tanzania.
Research, based on scientific predictions,
reveals that 182 million people in sub-Saharan
Africa alone could die of disease directly
attributable to climate change by the end of the
Sea levels are set to rise dramatically:
Melting glaciers and polar ice combined with the
thermal expansion of the oceans means we can
expect sea-level rises of 15-95cm this century.
A rise of 1m would displace 10 million people in
Vietnam and 8-10 million in Egypt.
The UK’s Department for International
Development predicts that the number of Africans
at risk of coastal flooding will rise from 1
million in 1990 to 70 million by 2080.
In Bangladesh, flood damage has become more
extreme in the last 20 years. By 2100, predicted
ocean rises threaten to submerge 18% of the
country, creating 35 million environmental
Reduced rainfall will lead to water shortages:
The Sahel region of Africa has experienced
drought-like conditions stretching back to the
1960s. There are no prospects of a revival in
its rainfall levels.
In east Africa, 11 million people were put at
risk of hunger by years of unprecedented
Millions in Asia and South America depend on
melting snow and glaciers for water. Thanks to
rising temperatures, they are vanishing – since
1995 more than 90% of glaciers have been in
retreat. Once they are gone, they cannot be
It is expected that Africa’s last remaining
tropical glacier, on Kenya’s Mt Kilimanjaro,
will have vanished by 2015.
Climate change will increase the incidence of
extreme weather patterns
90% of the victims of weather-related natural
disasters during the 1990s lived in poor
Over the past 35 years, storms of the force of
Hurricane Katrina have almost doubled.
Meteorologists say rises in the temperature of
the sea surface are the most likely cause.
Bangladesh could experience 15% more rainfall by
2030, putting 20-40% more of its land at risk of