Pictures about climate change

Climate Change Impacts in Pictures: 8 Stark IPCC Images
September 26, 2015 – 11:35 am

By Brian Kahn and Andrea Thompson

But the report is also chock full of illustrative tables and diagrams that make the effects of global warming clear at a glance (and some not so much). After all, it’s one thing to read a description of the rise in flood risk expected to occur along the world’s coasts because of sea level rise and in urban areas because of their inability to absorb the water from more frequent and intense downpours, and another to see the dramatic uptick in people likely to experience major floods in graph.

To help illustrate the stark predictions of the IPCC report, Climate Central has pulled out 8 illuminating graphics that each tell an important global warming story:

100-year floods: More extreme precipitation, expected with climate change, means that major flood events could happen more often and thus more people are likely to be impacted. By 2100, hundreds of millions of people per year are projected to have to deal with the challenges flooding poses, the IPCC shows in the above graph. That graph even keeps population steady at 2005 levels, meaning even more people will be under threat with population rise.

Averaged globally, annual flood exposure increases 4-14 times over the course of the 21st century compared to the 20th century. Using a moderate population growth estimate increases that risk by 7-25 times.

Nearly all of China and India as well as large portions of South America and Sub-Saharan Africa are the places where severe flooding is most likely to become more regular, while parts of Europe and North America are likely to see severe flooding risk actually decrease. That’s part of why the IPCC report notes that the poorest and most vulnerable are likely to suffer the most from climate change.

Fisheries on the move: The best fisheries are likely to shift to mid-latitude oceans by the middle of the 21st century. However, the tropics and Southern Ocean fisheries will likely suffer over the period as oceans become too warm and net ocean productivity decreases. Not only will fisheries shift but the maximum weight of fish will change too. In some areas, such as the North Atlantic, the increase in catch potential will at least be partially offset by a decrease in fish body weight.

This redistribution of catch potential also has major implications for food security. According to the report, 400 million people eat fish as a central part of their diet.

3.6°F means more risks: Climate impacts are already occurring, but so far they’ve caused relatively low levels of risk. However, future temperature increases will pose dramatically higher risks to both human and natural systems. Ecosystems as well as human systems that are highly specialized are most at risk to these impacts.

The growing body of science around understanding the impact climate change could have led the IPCC to add a new category of risk for this report: Purple is the new red. While 2007 only classified climate risks from neutral to high ranging from white impacts to red, the new report adds a purple category for very high risks.

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