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Climate change - Possible Impacts

Facts and Figures

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 2050. 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 globe.


More facts from The report

Sea levels could rise up to 95cm by the end of the century, submerging 18% of Bangladesh.

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 demand.

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 Countries:
However bad the consequences of climate change will be far, far more devastating for vulnerable people in poor countries.

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 years.

The 1990s were the hottest decade since records began – and the temperature rises are speeding up.

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 century.

Rising sea-levels
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 refugees.

Water shortages
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 drought.

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 replaced.

It is expected that Africa’s last remaining tropical glacier, on Kenya’s Mt Kilimanjaro, will have vanished by 2015.

Extreme weather
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 countries.

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 flooding.


Source: IPCC




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