New research shows that if nothing is done to reduce emissions, temperatures will rise between two and five degrees Celsius this century, leading to a change in rainfall patterns, more pressure on crop production and an increase in flood risks. Charlotte Reid has the details.
The Met Office did an assessment of 24 developed and developing countries to highlight the impact that climate change has already had and what the world will have to face in the future if there is a rise in global temperature changes.
One thing that was noted in the research across all the countries was that they have all warmed up since the 1960s. Also since the 1960s there has been a decrease in the number of cool nights and cool days and an increase in the number of warm days and warm nights. As well as this, the majority of countries studied are expected to see a significant increase in the risk of flooding.
Huhne said that the report “highlights some of the very real dangers we face if we don’t limit emissions to combat the rise in global temperature”.
“Life for millions of people could change forever, with water and food supplies being placed in jeopardy and homes and livelihoods under threat. This makes the challenge of reducing emissions ever more urgent.”
Recent reports have revealed the effect climate change has on developing countries with Bangladesh, Haiti and Zimbabwe the top three countries most at risk.
However, the Met Office assessed the UK too, saying that nearly 18m people will experience water shortages and almost 160,000 people will be at risk from coastal flooding if nothing is done.
The Met Office’s report found that the production of staple food crops may decline in countries like Bangladesh, Brazil and China and food security is a growing risk for Bangladesh and India. However, crop increases are expected in Germany and Japan.
Developing countries at Durban have been trying to convince delegates that urgency is needed in the climate change talks as they are already feeling the effects. Oxfam have also warned that unless something is done about climate change, poorer countries will face starvation.
Huhne has spoken about the importance of the talks in Durban saying, “The UK wants a legally binding global agreement to keep the global temperature rise below two degrees”.
“If this is achieved this study shows that some of the most significant impacts of climate change be reduced significantly. By the end of this week we need to see progress to move toward this goal.”
However, it seems there has been more stalling on coming to an agreement in South Africa as India are now opposing emissions cuts in fear it will hurt their economy.
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