WASHINGTON, D.C. — A new World Bank report warns that time may be running out to temper the rising risks of undesirable climate change.
“Lack of action on climate change threatens to make the world our children inherit a completely different world than we are living in today,” said World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim. “Climate change is one of the single biggest challenges facing development, and we need to assume the moral responsibility to take action on behalf of future generations, especially the poorest.”
“Turn Down the Heat: Why a 4°C Warmer World Must be Avoided” suggests the world is on the path to “extreme heat-waves, declining global food stocks, loss of ecosystems and biodiversity, and life-threatening sea level rise.”
The report, reviewed by some of the world’s top scientists, is being released ahead of the next comprehensive studies by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2013/14, and follows the Bank’s own Strategic Framework for Development and Climate Change in 2008 and the World Development Report on climate change in 2010.
“Turn Down the Heat” combines a synthesis of recent scientific literature with new analysis of likely impacts and risks, focusing on developing countries.
It chronicles already observed climate change and impacts, such as heat waves and other extreme events, and offers projections for the 21st century for droughts, heat waves, sea level rise, food, water, ecosystems and human health.
The report says today’s climate could warm from the current global mean temperature of 0.8°C above pre-industrial levels, to as high as 4°C by 2100, even if countries fulfill current emissions-reduction pledges.