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Extreme Weather Events To Increase, Warn Scientists

Extreme Weather Events To Increase, Warn Scientists

A definitive scientific report warns that extreme weather events linked to climate change will continue around the world in coming decades. The report, Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation, was compiled over two years by 220 climate scientists. Co-Chair of the report’s working group Qin Dahe, confirmed,“There is high confidence that both maximum and minimum daily temperatures have increased on a global scale due to the increase of greenhouse gases.” The other co-chair of the scientific working group, Thomas Stocker, said: ”For the high emissions scenario, it is likely that the frequency of hot days will increase by a factor of 10 in most regions of the world Likewise, heavy precipitation will occur more often, and the wind speed of tropical cyclones will increase while their number will likely remain constant or decrease.”

Floods from Pakistan to Vermont, heat waves from Australia to Russia, and drought from Texas to the Horn of Africa, have cost countries billions and caused untold suffering. The report observes that while climate event related fatalities hit developing nations, economic disaster losses are higher in developed nations. In 1980-2010, 95 percent of all natural disaster fatalities occurred in developing nations.

Extreme weather events can be expected to have profound effects on global economy, public health, and infrastructure. And the effects will be felt everywhere, though with uneven consequences. Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Rajendra Pauchauri noted that the report “underlines the complexity and the diversity of factors that are shaping human vulnerability to extremes–why for some communities and countries these can become disasters whereas for others they can be less severe.”

Economic impact

Perhaps those unconcerned by climate devastation, species loss, disease spread and human suffering may be moved by the financial hardship brought on by extreme weather events. The economic impact of extreme weather events ranges widely. For the period 2001-2006, extreme weather cost developed nations .1% of GDP; 1% of GDP for middle income nations, to as much as 8% of GDP for severely-impacted small island nations. In the US alone, there have been 10 weather events this year, including record-breaking flooding, heat waves and drought,  that have cost over $1 billion each.

The Price of Inaction

While scientific consensus has been reached, political consensus seems far away. The next round of climate talks takes place in Durban, South Africa at the end of this month. Chief climate negotiator for the European Union  Connie Hedegaard said of the report: “With all the knowledge and rational arguments in favor of urgent climate action, it is frustrating to see that some governments do not show the political will to act. … In light of the even more compelling facts, the question has to be put to those governments in favor of postponing decisions: for how long can you defend your inaction?”

 

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Thailand has experienced devastating floods, the kind of extreme events of which we can expect to see more. Photo: 10/17/2011 By Cpl Robert J. Maurer of US humanitarian assessment team, Pathum Thani, Thailand. Public domain.

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115 comments

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8:03AM PDT on Apr 10, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

12:32AM PST on Feb 23, 2013

Thanks!

1:18PM PST on Dec 13, 2012

Interestingly China is about to build 650, yes 650 new coal mines which will double the carbon in the air. Also interestingly all the jobs are going to China and they are free of the carbon tax scam. They don't have to pay because apparently they're a developing country.



2:01AM PST on Mar 8, 2012

Unfortunately while we have politicians with short term aims for personal gain nothing much will be done, in the USA & UK we need to get rid of most "right wing"/conservative lobbist politicians who serve blindly big business.

4:43AM PST on Jan 21, 2012

Yep, scientists for sale

They warn for over 12 years now - and nothing has happened since.

This is the way of nature.

Save a planet ?
By Carbon Taxes ?

Or should it be renamed:

Save the Banks ?

9:11PM PST on Nov 29, 2011

Noted.

11:34AM PST on Nov 29, 2011

Wow, didn't know we had astrophysicists commenting on these articles?!?!?! Seeing as how we can have no impact on the:

"imbalances in the equilibrium between Solar radiation and radiation from external, cosmic sources".

Maybe we should try to do something locally? IF we're wrong, the Earth will have less pollution in the air, in the water and on the land. IF we're wrong, animals will no longer be on any lists. IF we're wrong, there will still be trees in our forests and fish in our seas.

But if you are wrong, and it is US won't YOUR face be red when life on Earth ceases to exist.

Tom Y. where are you from, anyway? Some southern place where there are palm trees and beaches and it's hot anyway, what's the diff between 92 degrees and 93?

Go to Alaska. THEY will tell you the difference between 32 degrees and 33. Well, they would if entire villages weren't being evacuated because the houses they built are getting washed away because the tundra that has been able to withstand thousands of years is melting away. Look around at all shards of ice melting in the ocean and take note of the polar bears stranded on little more than ice cubes.

OR you could take a Google Earth look at Antarctica, a place NO ONE lives because it's just too cold with sub zero temperatures... Looking a little green right? Do you know what that is? Obviously not martian piss. It's called vegetation. Vegetation does not occur on areas that are supposed to be permafrost. For all you astrophysi

7:41PM PST on Nov 28, 2011

Thankyou....

9:48AM PST on Nov 28, 2011

Of course they will....humans continue to f*** with this planet thinking there will be no consequences. There are ALWAYS consequences to our actions, especially when those actions involved destruction and death of our planet and the animals with whom we share this planet with.

People will not be satisfied until all the other species have been destroyed. And then what shall we have????

Global warming is real......just take a look around you; it cannot be denied.

8:42AM PST on Nov 28, 2011

We are causing the earth to become hotter, which can happen naturally, however not at the rate it is currently climbing. If we do nothing, we will push the earth beyond the point of returning.

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