Sunday, December 14, 2008

Get ready for worse climate change impacts: expert

IANS: An extra billion people will face water shortage, cereal production in developing countries will drop and coastal regions will face more damage from floods and storms because of delay in combating climate change, says a leading expert. The world should be prepared to face far worse effects of global warming than it is facing now, Martin Parry, a professor at the Imperial College in London, said in the backdrop of little substantial progress at the Dec 1-12 climate summit here.

…Parry has put together from his own research and from studies around the world the effect of delay on this goal in areas such as water supply, food, health, coastal areas and other ecosystems.…Parry said that with a 2035 emissions peak year and three percent per year cut after that, 'all cereal production will decrease' and the worst would be faced in Africa.

Climate change is already leading to increased healthcare costs in developing countries like India, as more people fall ill from water-borne diseases and mosquitoes carrying malaria and dengue germs spread their range in a warmer world. Parry expected this situation to worsen if the emissions peak year was pushed back by 10 years, from 2015 to 2025. He also expected 'increased morbidity and mortality from heat waves, floods and droughts'.

…One of the most frightening consequences of climate change that has started already is the melting of the ice sheet in the arctic and western Antarctica. If countries push back the emissions peak year to 2035 and then cut at only three percent per year, the world would have to be 'prepared for a long-term commitment to several metres of sea level rise due to ice sheet loss', Parry warned….

Dust devil in the Mojave Desert, shot by AnimAlu, Wikimedia Commons, under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2

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