WASHINGTON, 18 March 2014 (ANI) – A new UN report suggests that climate change will displace hundreds of millions of people by the end of this century, increasing the risk of violent conflict and wiping trillions of dollars off the global economy.
The second of three publications by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, due to be made public at the end of this month, is the most comprehensive investigation into the impact of climate change ever undertaken.
A draft of the final version seen by the Independent says the warming climate will place the world under enormous strain, forcing mass migration, especially in Asia, and increasing the risk of violent conflict.
Based on thousands of peer-reviewed studies and put together by hundreds of respected scientists, the report predicts that climate change will reduce median crop yields by 2 percent per decade for the rest of the century - at a time of rapidly growing demand for food. This will in turn push up malnutrition in children by about a fifth, it predicts.
The report also forecasts that the warming climate will take its toll on human health, pushing up the number of intense heatwaves and fires and increasing the risk from food and water-borne diseases.
According to the draft report, a rare grassy coastal habitat unique to Scotland and Ireland is set to suffer, as are grouse moors in the UK and peatlands in Ireland. The UK's already elevated air pollution is likely to worsen as burning fossil fuels increase ozone levels, while warmer weather will increase the incidence of asthma and hay fever.
The report predicts that by the end of the century "hundreds of millions of people will be affected by coastal flooding and displaced due to land loss".
The majority affected will be in east Asia, southeast Asia and south Asia. Rising sea levels mean coastal systems and low-lying areas will increasingly experience submergence, coastal flooding and coastal erosion.
21 March 2014 (Philippine EnviroNews) – Millions of people in vulnerable areas, such as some parts of Asia, will have to deal with a worrying scenario of conflicts, food crises, flooding, droughts, and huge economic losses caused by climate change by the end of the century, according to the leaked draft of a forthcoming international climate report.
The latest report of the United Nations panel, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), looked at the growing threat of climate change and on how human and natural systems are expected to address the “ widespread and consequential” impacts.
The leaked document, which is yet to be finalized by hundreds of international scientists and is scheduled to be release by end of March 2014, is the second of the three reports of the IPCC’s scientific assessment on climate change.
The report also finds other alarming and devastating impacts from climate change revealing that hundreds of millions of people, mostly in Asia, will be forced to move due to coastal flooding and land loss as sea level rise.
By the middle of this century, Asia’s urban population will increase by 1.4 billion and will account for over 50 per cent of the global population, according to the IPCC report.
Asia, which includes the Philippines, experienced the highest number of weather- and climate-related disasters in the world during the period from 2000-2008 and suffered huge economic losses, accounting for the second highest proportion (27.5 per cent) of the total global economic loss.
A large proportion of Asia’s population lives in low elevation coastal zones that are particularly at risk from climate change hazards, including sea-level rise, storm surges, and typhoons. Half to two-thirds of Asia’s cities with 1 million or more inhabitants are exposed to one or multiple hazards, with floods and cyclones being the most important.
Climate change threatens large parts of south, east and southeast Asia, which are already exposed to a high degree of cumulative climate-related risks.
“For example, Asia has more than 90 per cent of the global population exposed to tropical cyclones and more powerful tropical cyclones would result in more loss of life and destruction as illustrated by Super Typhoon Haiyan, in the Philippines in 2013,” the report stated.
The catastrophic Typhoon Haiyan left thousands homeless and killed more than 6,000 people in central Philippines last year.
In a recent interview, Rosa Perez, a climate scientist from the Manila Observatory and one of the authors of the latest IPCC report, told Environews.ph that most of the content of the assessment report deals with vulnerability and adaptation.
Perez revealed that much of the results of the IPCC’s Working Group II report derived from the Special Report on “Managing Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation” (SREX) which was released last year. The report, where Perez is also one of the authors, tackles the challenge of understanding and managing the risks of climate extremes to advance climate change adaptation.
Perez added that the SREX assesses climate change influence on the threat of natural disasters and how countries can better manage expected changes and risks associated with changes in the frequency of occurrence and intensity of severe weather events. The report also considers the detection of trends in extreme events and the attribution of these trends to human influence.
“This is very much relevant to the Philippines as we are in the top five countries in the world most vulnerable to the threats of extreme weather/climate events,” Perez said.
The document said that climate change will compound the many stresses caused by rapid urbanization, industrialization, and economic development. Furthermore, climate change is expected to adversely affect the sustainable development capabilities of most Asian developing countries by aggravating pressures on natural resources and the environment. [more]