The Risks Of Climate Change

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Climate change is a serious topic and becomes more and more urgent. Already 16 out of 17 hottest years on record happened in this century. The last one was the hottest, according to World Meteorological Organization report. The pieces of evidence of climate changes are visible every day in some part of the Earth. The Arctic is already hotter than ever. We can’t neglect this issues anymore. The scientist agreed that we are the causes of these changes. And maybe it’s time for see what are the exact risks of this changes that mother nature put in front of us.

Extreme weather and climate-related events have damaged farming and food security, affecting more than 60 million people, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization.

The group of scientist has just published their study on reasons for concern regarding climate change risks at Nature Climate Change. The team aggregated global risk into five categories as a function of global mean temperature change. They represented these changes on a graph, which is an updated version of the graph released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change back in 2001.

Image Credit: Nature Climate Change

The graph compared the temperatures from 1985 to 2005 on the left side and from 2003 to 2015on the right side. As we can see, in just two decades, we’re nearly a whole degree above pre-industrial levels. In a middle of the graph, it’s shown what are the risks of temperature changes in five main categories. These categories are:

1) risks to unique and threatened systems

All system that has restricted geographic ranges constrained by climate-related conditions and have high endemism, such as tropical glacier systems, coral reefs and so on. These systems have a risk of death, injury, disrupted livelihoods in low-lying coastal zone due to storm surges, coastal flooding and sea level rise.

2) risks associated with extreme weather events

It encompasses risk to human health, livelihoods, assets and ecosystems for extremes such as heat waves, heavy rain, hurricanes and coastal flooding.

3) risks associated with the distribution of impacts

This reflects the fact that some groups will be hit harder than others, depending on where they live or their socioeconomic status due to the uneven distribution of physical climate change.

4) risks associated with global aggregate impacts

This reflects impacts to socio-ecological systems that can be aggregated globally according to a single metric. For example species at risk for extinction, monetary damages, the number of lost ecosystems at a global scale.

5) risks associated with large-scale singular events

Large-scale singular events are relatively large, abrupt and irreversible changes in physical, ecological or social systems in response to smooth variations in driving forces. For example, the global impact if the North Pole melts or Antarctic ice sheet collapse.

The scientists also represented eight overarching global key risks ( at the right bottom of the graph ) that correspond to different reasons for concern, which are explained here:

Image Credit: Nature Climate Change

Although the predictions are not promising, we still have time to do something, as we didn’t pass the point of no return. Our human populations still didn’t confront with global cataclysms, so it’s vital for us to be prepared and to know what to expect.

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