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Our hot(ter) Earth

October 23, 2009

4 degree map

The 4 degree map - the impact of a global temperature riseof 4 degrees C (7 degrees F)

The 4 degree map - the impact of a global temperature riseof 4 degrees C (7 degrees F)

Imagine what happen if the global average temperature rises by 4 degrees Celcius above the pre-industrial climate average. The Act on Copenhagen site says that the impacts of climate change will be widespread across the globe. In order to understand more about what the human impact of high-end climate change might be, a map (above)produced by the UK’s Met Office Hadley Centre was produced which represents the latest peer-reviewed science on the impacts.

Go to this page on the 4 degree interactive map to click the interactive controls and select which impacts you want to see, zoom on specific geographies and access on more information on the science of the map. Of my interest, I click a zone very near to Brunei which shows the rise in sea level. Here are some of the findings in a summary:

  • Sea level could rise as much as 80 cm by the end of the century. Low-lying reasons such as Bangladesh will be affected.
  • For the population in the year 2075 (I will be long gone by this time), a mean sea-level rise of 53 cm means that up to an additional 150 million people per year will be flooded due to the extreme sea level. Three quarters of these people live in Asia (please note this).
  • 56 million people from the 150 million will be from the Indian Ocean, 25 million from the east Asian cost and 33 million people from the Southeast Asian coast (thats us!).
  • Hottest day of the year could be as much as 6 degrees warmer over highly populated areas of China.
  • Decrease in rice yields of up to 30% in China, India, Bangladesh and Indonesia.
  • Disease patterns have changed.
  • Marine ecosystem affected. Livelihoods of those depending on the fisheries industry would be affected too as well as loos of coral reef habitats due to acidification.
  • Northern Siberian permafost will almost completely dissapear and reduction in Alaska and Canada.
  • Drought events occur twice as frequently across southern Africa, South-East Asia and the Mediterranean basin.
  • Water resources affected by up to 70% reduction in run-off around the Mediterranean, Southern Africa and large part of Southern America.
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