The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has
issued its Summary for Policy Makers. Based on thousands of
scientific studies since 2005 into the growing impacts of climate
change, it concludes that key dangerous changes are already
underway around the world, and will hurt the poor the most. You
should read it, click here. Then demand action: Canada is one of the
world's worst climate polluters.
For a look at the headlines of tomorrow, major impacts that are
now highly likely include:
i. Risk of death, injury, ill-health, or disrupted livelihoods
in low-lying coastal zones and small island developing states and
other small islands, due to storm surges, coastal flooding, and
sea-level rise.34 [RFC 1-5]
ii. Risk of severe ill-health and disrupted livelihoods for large
urban populations due to inland flooding in some regions.35 [RFC 2
iii. Systemic risks due to extreme weather events leading to
breakdown of infrastructure networks and critical services such as
electricity, water supply, and health and emergency services.36
iv. Risk of mortality and morbidity during periods of extreme
heat, particularly for vulnerable urban populations and those
working outdoors in urban or rural areas.37 [RFC 2 and 3]
v. Risk of food insecurity and the breakdown of food systems
linked to warming, drought, flooding, and precipitation variability
and extremes, particularly for poorer populations in urban and
rural settings.38 [RFC 2-4]
vi. Risk of loss of rural livelihoods and income due to
insufficient access to drinking and irrigation water and reduced
agricultural productivity, particularly for farmers and
pastoralists with minimal capital in semi-arid regions.39 [RFC 2
vii. Risk of loss of marine and coastal ecosystems, biodiversity,
and the ecosystem goods, functions, and services they provide for
coastal livelihoods, especially for fishing communities in the
tropics and the Arctic.40 [RFC 1, 2, and 4]
viii. Risk of loss of terrestrial and inland water ecosystems,
biodiversity, and the ecosystem goods, functions, and services they
provide for livelihoods.41 [RFC 1, 3, and 4]
Identification of key risks was based on expert judgment using
the following specific criteria: large magnitude, high probability,
or irreversibility of impacts; timing of impacts; persistent
vulnerability or exposure contributing to risks; or limited
potential to reduce risks through adaptation or
mitigation. Many key risks constitute particular challenges
for the least developed countries and vulnerable communities, given
their limited ability to cope.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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