November 29, 2014

World Bank Warns on climate change

Environmental News Network - As the planet continues to warm, heat-waves and other extreme weather events that today occur once in hundreds of years, if ever, will become the “new climate normal,” creating a world of increased risks and instability, a new World Bank study warns.

The consequences for development would be severe as crop yields decline, water resources shift, sea-levels rise, and the livelihoods of millions of people are put at risk, according to a new scientific report by the World Bank Group.

In parts of Central Asia and the Western Balkans specifically, unprecedented heat extremes could occur in over 60 percent of summer months and drought risk could increase by 20 percent in a 4°C warmer world, the report finds. At the same time, projections suggest an increase in riverine flood risk, mainly in spring and winter, due to more intense snow melt in spring and heavier rainfall in the winter months. 

Climate change impacts such as extreme heat events may now be unavoidable because the Earth’s atmospheric system is locked into warming close to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels by mid-century, the report said. Even very ambitious mitigation action taken today will not change this, it said.

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