Society won’t be able to adapt to climate change unless carbon emissions are reduced significantly

November 18th, 2013 by Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research

Damage caused by Typhoon Haiyan in the Tacloban, Philippines (click image to expand - image courtesy of Praveen Agrawal, World Food Programme/ EU-Humanitarian-Aid-and-Civil-Protection)

Damage caused by Typhoon Haiyan in the Tacloban, Philippines (click image to expand – image courtesy of Praveen Agrawal, World Food Programme/ EU-Humanitarian-Aid-and-Civil-Protection)

From 19 to 22 November 2013 some of the world’s environmental ministers will meet for the ‘high level segment‘ of the International climate negotiations in Warsaw.

Anders Levermann, co-chair of the research domain “Sustainable Solutions” at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research said “by emitting greenhouse gases, we have already caused global-warming impacts, such as sea-level rise, which will remain with us for several centuries to come.”

“Further emissions will increase anthropogenic climate change and long before we reach the limits of our planet, we will reach the limits of our society’s adaptive capacity.”

“At present nobody knows where these limits are exactly, whether at three, four, five or six degrees Celsius of warming.”

“But beyond the 2° degrees Celsius guardrail of the international climate negotiations, the risks for our modern society with its complex infrastructure increase significantly.”

“While impacts of climate change can already be observed today, weather extremes like the heat waves in North America, Russia, Australia and Europe, floods as recently in Pakistan and tropical storms like currently in Asia will increase with future warming.”

“Globally coordinated adaptation measures need to be on the agenda at the Warsaw Climate Change meeting along with the crucial debate on mitigating the uncontrollable. This is nothing else than sensible risk management.”

 

  1. No Comments

Have your say