Thursday, December 10, 2009

Copenhagen: Flooding, crop failures and lack of water – and that's after emission cuts

Jenny Fyall in the Scotsman: The most stringent measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will still leave hundreds of millions of people suffering crop failures, flooding and water shortages by the end of the century, according to research by British scientists. Research presented to the Copenhagen climate summit yesterday showed that a deal to keep global temperature rises at 2C could reduce by between half and two thirds the impacts of global warming.

However, this meant there would still be a devastating impact on crops, water supplies and flooding. By the end of the century, a 2C temperature rise would still see about 400 million people struggling to access water, compared to 800 million people if no action was taken to tackle global warming. There would be about a 30 per cent increase in crop failure compared to 50 per cent if no action was taken. And the number of people at an increased risk of flooding would reduce by about half if temperature rises were kept to 2C.

….The research was carried out by the University of Reading's Walker Institute, the Met Office and the Tyndall Centre, as part of a UK programme called AVOID. It was the most comprehensive study to date of how reducing greenhouse gas emissions could help to avoid the impacts of climate change.

Professor Nigel Arnell, director of the Walker Institute, said: "Reducing greenhouse gas emission is vital to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, but it won't avoid the impacts altogether. "Adaptation to the climate change we can't avoid is as important as measures to control greenhouse gas emissions."…

Copenhagen's coat of arms

No comments: