Time Bomb Ticking

Time Bomb Ticking

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According to the report titled 4-degree Turn down the Heat: Climate Extremes, Regional Impacts, and the Case for Resilience (2013), The World Bank (please click here to access the report):

•    While covering a range of sectors, this report focuses on how climate change impacts on agricultural production, water resources, coastal zone fisheries, and coastal safety are likely to increase, often significantly, as global warming climbs from present levels of 0.8°C up to 1.5°C, 2°C and 4°C above pre-industrial levels.

•    Significant increases in inter-annual and intraseasonal variability of monsoon rainfall are to be expected. With global mean warming approaching 4°C, an increase in intra-seasonal variability in the Indian summer monsoon precipitation of approximately 10 percent is projected. Large uncertainty, however, remains about the fundamental behavior of the Indian summer monsoon under global warming. Over southern India, increasing wetness is projected with broad agreement between climate models.

•    The projected increase in the seasonality of precipitation is associated with an increase in the number of dry days, leading to droughts that are amplified by continued warming, with adverse consequences for human lives. Some regions that emerge to be at particularly high risk include north-western India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. In India, the droughts in 1987 and 2002-03 affected more than 50 percent of the crop area in the country and caused major declines in crop production.

•    South Asian populations are likely to be increasingly vulnerable to the greater variability of precipitation changes, in addition to the disturbances in the monsoon system and rising peak temperatures that could put water and food resources at severe risk.

•    In South Asia, climate change shocks to food production and seasonal water availability appear likely to confront populations with ongoing and multiple challenges to secure access to safe drinking water, sufficient water for irrigation and hydropower production, and adequate cooling capacity for thermal power production.

•    For the regions studied in this report, global warming above 1.5°C to 2°C increases the risk of reduced crop yields and production losses in Sub-Saharan Africa, South East Asia and South Asia.

•    Major investments in infrastructure, flood defense, development of high temperature and drought resistant crop cultivars, and major improvements in sustainability practices, for example in relation to groundwater extraction would be needed to cope with the projected impacts under this level of warming.



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