Well, if you weren’t painfully aware of this already, the UN has announced today that climate change is, without a doubt, linked to more extreme weather, such as heavier rains, more floods, more severe droughts, stronger hurricanes and cyclones, and more landslides.
The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), along with telling us that we had better address human-induced climate change, announced that countries around the world should be creating disaster management plans to help cope in an increasingly extreme world.
“It is virtually certain that increases in the frequency and magnitude of warm daily temperature extremes … will occur in the 21st century on the global scale,” the IPCC report said.
“A 1-in-20 year hottest day is likely to become a 1-in-2 year event by the end of the 21st century in most regions,” under one of the IPCC’s emissions scenarios.
While delegates from approximately 200 countries will meet in South Africa at the end of the month (starting November 28) to try to move forward on a global climate change agreement, there is little likelihood that the world is going to prevent tremendous climate change. Apparently, decades of warming wasn’t enough for countries to prepare (or was too long to stop fossil fuel industries from massive lobbying and political delay). Global C02 emissions continue to rise and without a groundswell of citizen action, it seems that is unlikely to change in the near future.
Some more, specific predictions from the IPCC:
- There’s a 2/3 chance that heavy rainfalls will increase around the globe.
- The number of tropical cyclones per year may increase or stay the same, but the severity of the cyclones that form is likely to increase (same goes for hurricanes).
- “There is medium confidence that droughts will intensify in the 21st century … due to reduced precipitation and/or increased evapotranspiration,” including in “southern Europe and the Mediterranean region, central Europe, central North America, Central America and Mexico, northeast Brazil and southern Africa,” according to the report.
- Shrinking glaciers and permafrost are also likely to trigger more landslides.
- More heat waves are also “very likely” around the world.
Sound like fun? Well, this is what we’re signing up for by not working to address climate change NOW.
Of course, there will still be global warming and climate change deniers, and they will still hold too much control over our political system.
Flood photo by jps246