Lower increases in global temps could lead to greater impacts than previously thought

February 24th, 2009 - 5:43 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Feb 24 (ANI): A new study has determined that lower increases in global temperatures could lead to greater impacts than previously thought.

The study was undertaken by scientists updating some of the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2001 Third Assessment Report.

They found that even a lower level of increase in average global temperatures due to greenhouse gas emissions could cause significant problems in five key areas of global concern.

In 2001, the IPCC published as part of its Third Assessment Report an illustrative figure which identified changes in climate authors determined to be reasons for concern, and which could cause some or significant risks among five types of outcomes that could be categorized as dangerous.

The study authors contend that there is new and stronger evidence since 2001 of observed impacts of climate change on unique and vulnerable systems, with increasing levels of adverse impacts as temperatures increase further.

Risk of extreme weather events, which tracks increases in extreme events with substantial consequences for societies and natural systems.

Examples include increase in the frequency, intensity, or consequences of heat waves, floods, droughts, wildfires or tropical cyclones.

The study authors point to new and stronger evidence of the likelihood and likely impacts of such changes, such as the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report conclusion that it is now more likely than not that human activity has contributed to observed increases in heat waves, intense precipitation events, and intensity of tropical cyclones.

Distribution of impacts, which concern disparities of impacts, i.e. whether the poor are more vulnerable than the wealthy.

Some regions, countries, and populations face greater harm from climate change while other regions, countries, or populations would be much less harmed - and some may benefit.

The researchers find, for example, there is increased evidence that low-latitude and less-developed areas generally face greater risk than higher latitude and more developed countries and there will likely be disparate impacts even for different groups within developed countries.

Impacts distributed across the globe can be aggregated into a single metric such as monetary damages, lives affected, or lives lost.

The study authors determine that it is likely there will be higher damages for increases in average global temperature then previously thought, and climate change over the next century will likely adversely impact hundreds of millions of people. (ANI)

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