One of the reasons that we have not, as a species, as a group of nations, dealt effectively with Anthropogenic Global Warming is the effectiveness of climate science denialism. There are denialists in Congress, on the Internet, and everywhere. They have not succeeded in making a valid scientific argument regarding Global Warming, but they have kept the rhetoric in the foreground, which has allowed interests protecting Big Oil to keep the hapless Main Stream Media focused on a false balance between scientific consensus and unreasonable doubt. As a result, the last decade or so has been a wash when it comes to international action on Carbon emissions and other ameliorating action. As a result, the idea that we could keep global temperature rise from going past the 2 degree C mark. Now, it is increasingly understood that we are heading for much warmer conditions, and this has the World Bank worried.
The World Bank just commissioned an analysis by scientists at the Potsdam Institute looking at the consequences of a 4°C rise in global temperatures above pre-industrial levels by 2100. And the report appears to have unnerved many bank officials. “The latest predictions on climate change should shock us into action,” wrote World Bank President Jim Yong Kim in an op-ed after the report was released Monday.
The analysis is available here as a PDF file.
The analysis suggests that there is a 20% chance that temperatures will warm to more than 4°C by 2100, possibly reaching g 4°C by 2060. This would result in sea level rise of up to 3 feet, maybe more. If the warming reached 6°C, which is possible, sea level rise would be in the range of a dozen feet or more. The report also discusses the uneven distribution of imacts:
- Even though absolute warming will be largest in high latitudes,
the warming that will occur in the tropics is larger when compared to the historical range of temperature and extremes to
which human and natural ecosystems have adapted and coped.
The projected emergence of unprecedented high-temperature
extremes in the tropics will consequently lead to significantly
larger impacts on agriculture and ecosystems.
- Sea-level rise is likely to be 15 to 20 percent larger in the tropics than the global mean.
- Increases in tropical cyclone intensity are likely to be felt
disproportionately in low-latitude regions.
- Increasing aridity and drought are likely to increase substantially in many developing country regions located in tropical
and subtropical areas.
The report is sobering. Let us hope it is also inspiring. You should have a look at it.