Turn Down the Heat: A New Report on the Effects of Climate Change
By The Editors
In a previous post, “Redrawing the Energy-Climate Map”, we have mentioned the 4-for-2°C scenario – a concept from a World Energy Outlook Special Report released on June 10 by the International Energy Agency (IEA). Governments around the world have agreed to limit the long-term rise in the average global temperature to 2 degrees Celsius (°C). However, according to the report, the path we are currently on is more likely to result in a temperature increase of between 3.6 °C and 5.3 °C. Under the 4-for-2°C scenario, the global temperature increase could be limited to 2°C by implementing four energy policies that rely only on existing technologies and have already been adopted successfully in several countries.
The IEA report focused in part on extreme weather events and raising sea levels. Yesterday (June 19) a new report was releases by the World Bank. The report “Turn down the heat : climate extremes, regional impacts, and the case for resilience – executive summary” focuses on the risks of climate change to development in Sub-Saharan Africa, South East Asia as well as South Asia and examines the likely impacts of present day, 2°C (3.6 °F) and 4°C (7.2 ºF) warming on agricultural production, water resources, and coastal vulnerability for affected populations.
The World Bank report, which is the result of contributions from a wide range of experts from across the globe and has been written by a team from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, finds many significant climate and development impacts are already being felt in some regions, and in some cases multiple threats of increasing extreme heat waves, sea-level rise, more severe storms, droughts and floods are expected to have further severe negative implications for the poorest.
Climate-related extreme events could push households below the poverty trap threshold. High temperature extremes appear likely to affect yields of rice, wheat, maize and other important crops, adversely affecting food security.
The report concludes that with ambitious global action to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions, many of the worst projected climate impacts could still be avoided by holding warming 2°C. We conclude by pointing out again to the IEA report and the implementation of the four energy policies that rely only on existing technologies and have already been adopted successfully in several countries.
The drastic change in climate is a serious issue. Like many other environmental issues the only way to work on preventing or decreasing these issues is to educate individuals. Many green house gases are often a result of human activities. If people were more aware of the negative effects their daily practices had on the environment they would be more willing to change many of their daily practices.