Climate Change: Areas most at risk

From an article on Guardian’s front page (by Ian Sample) titled Global meltdown: scientists isolate areas most at risk of climate change:

Scientists have long agreed that climate change could have a profound impact on the planet; from melting ice sheets and withering rainforests, to flash floods and droughts.

Now a team of climate experts has ranked the most fragile and vulnerable regions on the planet, and warned they are in danger of sudden and catastrophic collapse before the end of the century.

In a comprehensive study published today, the scientists identify the nine areas that are in gravest danger of passing critical thresholds or “tipping points”, beyond which they will not recover.

Such heartening news. And towards the end, the article gives even more heartening news.

The most likely rise, of 4C by the end of the century, would cause droughts across Africa, and a fall in harvests of 15% to 35%. Globally, crop yields would fall 10%.

Sea levels would rise by up to 59cm, with Bangladesh and Vietnam among the worst hit, along with coastal cities such as New York, London, Tokyo, Kolkata and Karachi. In Britain alone, there would be 1.8 million people at risk of flooding. The western Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets would begin to melt irreversibly and Europe would lose 80% of its Alpine glaciers. Across the Arctic, half of the tundra is at risk.

A 4C rise is predicted to drive 20% to 50% of land species to extinction and put 80m more Africans at risk of malaria as mosquitoes thrive.

In case you want to see where the tipping points are, check out this graphic (PDF file).

Like you haven’t noticed the strange weather in your neck of the woods anyway.


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