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Major Climate Report Warns of Quickly Approaching Threats to Water Supply and Critical Infrastructure

Major Climate Report Warns of Quickly Approaching Threats to Water Supply and Critical Infrastructure

Created: Thursday, October 11, 2018 - 13:36
Categories:
Natural Disasters, Research, Resilience

A major report issued earlier this week by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) paints a more dire picture of the immediate consequences of climate change than previously thought. The IPCC found that if greenhouse gas emissions continue at the current rate, the atmosphere will warm up by as much as 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit (1.5 degrees Celsius) above preindustrial levels by 2040, resulting in raised sea levels that will inundate coastlines and intensified droughts, among other effects. Effects on water security and the water supply from the predicted climage changes comes up frequently in the report, as does damage to critical infrastructure that could emerge from flooding and other hazards. Previous work had focused on estimating the damage if average temperatures were to rise by a larger number, 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celsius), because that was the threshold scientists previously considered for the most severe effects of climate change. The new report, however, shows that many of those effects will come much sooner, at the 2.7-degree mark. The report was the first to be commissioned by world leaders under the Paris agreement, the 2015 pact by nations to confront global warming. UN IPCC.