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Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Climate Change Report warns of “+4°C world” by 2100

A new World Bank report warns the world is on track to a “+4°C world” marked by extreme heat-waves and life-threatening droughts and losses in crops. Adverse effects of global warming are “tilted against many of the world's poorest regions” and likely to undermine development efforts and goals.
The "Turn Down the Heat: Why a 4°C Warmer World Must be Avoided" report says today’s climate could warm from the current global mean temperature of 0.8°C above pre-industrial levels, to as high as 4°C by 2100, even if countries fulfill current emissions-reduction pledges.
Sub-tropical Mediterranean, northern Africa, the Middle East, and the contiguous United States are likely to be the most affected, seeing monthly summer temperatures rise by more than 6°C. Especially temperatures in the Mediterranean as well as in the Sahara and the Middle East are expected to approach 35°C (about 9°C warmer than the warmest July estimated for the present day), respectively 45°C ( 6-7°C above the warmest July in the present). In this context, the report, urges "further mitigation action as the best insurance against an uncertain future."
Lower crop yields in a 4°C world are one of the most disastrous outcomes of hotter weather, as each “growing degree day” spent at a temperature of 30 degrees decreases yields by 1% under drought-free rain-fed conditions. The report also says drought-affected areas would increase from 15.4% of global cropland today, to around 44% by 2100. The most severely affected regions in the next 30 to 90 years will likely be in southern Africa, the United States, southern Europe and Southeast Asia. In Africa, the report predicts 35% of cropland will become unsuitable for cultivation in a 5°C world.
Among other, some of the most important effects of the four degrees warning, are:  adverse impacts on water availability, particularly in northern and eastern Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia; the increase in forest fires, and the stop of coral reefs growing, or even their dissolution, as a result of oceans becoming more acidic as a result of higher CO2 concentrations.

Source: The World Bank