Southern Europe will be gripped by fierce heatwaves, drought in North Africa will be more common, and small island states face ruinous storm surges from rising seas, says a report by United Nations climate scientists, reports Marlowe Hood at Agent France Presse. The assessment is the most comprehensive yet by the 194-nation Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change into the impact of climate change on extreme weather events. A ”summary for policymakers” says that global warming will create weather on steroids, with these extreme events – cyclones, heatwaves, diluvian rains, drought – hitting the world unevenly. In the worst scenario, settlement in Pacific atolls could be wiped out. The authors of the 800-page report express confidence in some findings but stress uncertainty in others, mainly due to lack of data. Average global temperatures have risen by nearly 2 degrees Fahrenheit since pre-industrial times, with forecasts for future warming ranging between an additional 2 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100. But these figures mask strong regional differences, and are conservative, because, as some scientists note, they do not take into account important biofeedback effects that will worsen warming.
UN scientists forecast more severe droughts, cyclones and floods. Southern Europe will be gripped by fierce heatwaves, drought in North Africa will be more common, and small island states face ruinous storm surges from rising seas, a report by United Nations climate scientists says. Agence France-Presse
Posted: 14 Nov 2011 10:26 PM PST
The Mediterranean has long been identified as an area that will feel global warming impacts because of water scarcity in the region, a rapidly increasing population, and climate modeling that projects increased risk of drought. And now, a new NOAA study shows that wintertime droughts are becming increasingly common in the region, and human-caused climate change is partly responsible. In the last 20 years, the Mediterranean region has experienced 10 of the driest 12 winters on record, according to data compiled by the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES).