Thursday, August 22, 2013

Global warming may keep millions "trapped in poverty": World Bank

CNTV via Xinhua: A global temperature rise of 2 degrees Celsius in the next few decades could cause widespread food shortages, unprecedented heat-waves, and more intense cyclones in tropical regions, threatening to "trap millions of people in poverty," the World Bank said.

A report released by the World Bank on Wednesday looked at the likely impacts of global warming on agricultural production, water resources, coastal ecosystems and cities across Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and South East Asia.

If current trends continue, by the 2030s, droughts and heat could leave 40 percent of the land now growing maize unable to support that crop, while rising temperatures could cause major loss of savanna grasslands threatening pastoral livelihoods in Sub-Saharan Africa, the report said.

By the 2050s, the proportion of the population undernourished in the sub-region is projected to increase by 25 percent to 90 percent compared to the present, it said.

In South Asia, the potential change in the regularity of monsoon could precipitate a major crisis in the region. Events like the devastating Pakistan floods of 2010, which affected more than 20 million people, could become common place. More extreme droughts in large parts of India could lead to widespread food shortages and hardship, it said.

The report said that rural livelihoods across South East Asia are faced with mounting pressures as sea level rise, tropical cyclones increase in intensity, and important marine ecosystem services are lost. In addition, sea level rise has been occurring more rapidly than previously projected and a rise of as much as 50 cm by the 2050s may already be unavoidable as a result of past emissions....

A busy street in Hanoi, shot by Heiko Carstens, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license

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