A new report by the World Bank outlines the disastrous impacts of the 4-degree Celsius (7.2 degrees Fahrenheit) global temperature rise we are currently heading for, in hopes of shocking the world into action.
Some of the impacts include a one-meter sea level rise by the end of the century due to melting ice sheets, extreme temperatures and severe droughts in Africa, southern Europe, the Middle East, the Americas, and Australia, a 150% increase in ocean acidity, decreased agricultural production, strained water resources, and destruction of the Amazon rainforest and coral reefs.
While a 4 degree temperature rise won’t look the same everywhere – some areas will be wetter, some will be drier, and some will be significantly hotter – the report does note that it will have the most drastic impact on poor, vulnerable communities. Developed countries may have less difficulty adapting in the event these consequences do occur, but the devastation that would come upon developed and developing countries alike, means the only option is serious and immediate action that involves cooperation by everyone on the planet.
The findings related to this report say that the climate change agreement put in place three years ago – to limit global warming to under 2 degrees – is nothing more than a moot plan on paper, considering we are well on our way to reaching a 4-degree increase by 2100.
The next step, which most nations have yet to take, is to put an aggressive plan in action that will cut emissions and maintain a safe temperature.
Image CC licensed by thewritingzone: Coal-fired power plant.