November 15th, 2013

We risk more Haiyans if we ignore climate change

Climate Change & Environment

Policy makers are not keeping up with events. Just as the world’s climate-change negotiators met in Warsaw, Typhoon Haiyan was hitting the Philippines. And as they started their talks – aimed at keeping global temperature increases below 2C – the International Energy Agency issued a new “reference scenario” implying a rise of 3.6C. Calamity is mainstream.

Whether Typhoon Haiyan, which was on preliminary measures the strongest on record ever to make landfall, was caused by human-induced climate change may be unknowable. But the growing frequency of such extreme events, and the prospects of catastrophic impacts of a 3.6C rise in temperatures, is all too knowable. These impacts include rising sea levels, extreme storms, massive flooding and inundations, devastated food production, acidified oceans, increased drought frequency and intensity, and raging forest fires, among others. Billions of people will be affected. Social instability and conflicts will follow.

Read the article at the Financial Times or here

 

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