Global warming forecasts: disasters, diseases

Time for a thread on

Forecasts re impacts of global warming

New forecast just released re Asia Pacific, including:

Millions of people in the Asia-Pacific region could be forced from their homes and suffer increasing disease, cyclones and floods caused by global warming, scientists warned today. Climate change will seriously threaten regional human security and national economies this century, according to a report by Australia's national research agency, the CSIRO. "Chronic food and water insecurity and epidemic disease may impede economic development in some nations," the report says. "Degraded landscapes and inundation of populated areas by rising seas may ultimately displace millions of individuals, forcing intra- and inter-state migration."

The report, commissioned by a coalition of environmental, aid, church and development groups, analyses predictions of temperature increases of up to 2°C by 2030 and up to 7°C by 2070. ...

Temperatures are likely to rise more quickly in the arid areas of northern Pakistan and India and western China, according to the report. But the region will also be affected by a rise in the global sea level of up to 16 cm by 2030 and by up to 50 cm in 2070, along with regional variables. Preston said two studies contained in the report estimate that a sea-level rise of a metre would displace between 75 million and 150 million people in the Asia-Pacific region. Most at risk are the low-lying river deltas of Bangladesh, India, Vietnam and China, as well as the small Pacific island states.

warming disaster looms for Asia-Pacific

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By Ben Blanchard BEIJING, Oct 19 (Reuters) - The world is not doing enough to combat global warming which, left unchecked, could trigger a mass movement of people and have serious consequences for security, the United Nation's environment chief said on Thursday. "For those of us who look at the science and look at the indicators, it's not enough yet, but it is more than we would have hoped for maybe a few years ago," Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the U.N. Environment Programme, said. In an interview with Reuters, he raised the possibility of climate refugees and the huge disruption this could cause. Experts have said that millions of people in densely populated, low-lying, developing countries such as Bangladesh and parts of China, Indonesia and Vietnam might be forced to move by rising sea levels. In the South Pacific, this has already begun to occur in some low-lying islands. "If global warming trends continue at the moment, and the models suggest that they are and maybe doing so more rapidly, they will have significant impact on where people can live, grow food and whether people will have to leave," he added. "We will have disease spreading and it will have implications in terms of global trade, perhaps," Steiner said in an interview on the sidelines of a maritime protection forum in Beijing.

INTERVIEW-Refugees">http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/PEK171647.htm]INTERVIEW-Refugees, disease big risk from global warming -U.N.

Article in today's Independent on same topic

http://news.independent.co.uk/environment/article1904957.ece

Climate change 'will cause refugee crisis'

By Michael McCarthy, Environment Editor
Published: 20 October 2006

Mass movements of people across the world are likely to be one of the most dramatic effects of climate change in the coming century, a study suggests.

The report, from the aid agency Tearfund, raises the spectre of hundreds of millions of environmental refugees and says the main reason will be the effects of climate - from droughts and water shortages, from flooding and storm surges and from sea-level rise.

The study, "Feeling the Heat", says there are already an estimated 25 million environmental refugees, and this figure is likely to soar as rain patterns continue to change, floods and storms become more frequent and rising tides start to inundate low-lying countries such as Bangladesh or some of the Pacific islands.

Tearfund says that without urgent action, world governments will lose the fight to tackle the world water crisis and the growing threat of climate-change refugees in catastrophic numbers.

The report calls for governments at the UN Climate Change conference, beginning in Nairobi in a fortnight, to move towards a global framework for cutting climate-changing greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide that goes beyond the existing climate treaty, the Kyoto protocol, and to commit billions more to help poor countries adapt to the coming changes.

"There will be millions more thirsty, hungry and ill poor people living in high-risk areas of the world by the end of the century," the report says. "It makes sense politically, economically and morally, for governments to act with urgency now."

Andy Atkins, advocacy director of Tearfund, said one of the most devastating impacts of climate change was on water supply. "In some parts of the world, floods, storms and poor rainfall are beginning to have catastrophic effects, threatening the lives and livelihoods of millions of people," he said.

This process will be steadily exacerbated, the report says, by the differing yet equally serious changes predicted to be part of a warming world. While some parts of the globe may experience much less rainfall and thus drought, others regions will have much more intense rain likely to bring about flooding. Sea-level rise , which a recent report suggested could be up to 50cm by 2050, would at that rate breach 100,000 kms (62,000 miles) of coastline around the world.

The report says: "As floods, drought and storms increase climate change will have a potentially catastrophic impact on water supply, threatening the lives and livelihoods of millions of people. Poor people - like the 80 per cent of Malawi's population who farm small plots - are reliant on rain for their harvests, and are least able to adapt to climate change. By exacerbating existing water stresses, climate change impacts many other areas of human development such as health and even industry."

It goes on: "Already, there are an estimated 25 million environmental refugees - more than half the number of political refugees. Experts such as the ecologist Norman Myers suggest this figure could soar to 200 million in less than 50 years. Unseen and uncounted, millions are already on the move in search of greater water security. In some countries, the exodus began years ago."

In the report's foreword, Sir John Houghton, former chairman of the Scientific Assessment Working Group of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, says politicians' strong words on climate change must now be matched by sufficient investment and strong action to cut global emissions, and help for the poorest nations adapt to climate change on their doorstep. A key to this will be helping poorer nations manage existing water supplies more efficiently.

"If your house is on fire, do you urgently try to save it, or throw your hands up in despair and walk away?" Sir John saysd. "Well, the house is on fire and it requires much more determined efforts to bring it under control and put it out. The UN climate change conference in Nairobi is an opportunity for failings to be addressed. Time is running out on us and world governments need to act much more responsibly, effectively and quickly."

The devastating impact

The report cites examples of where water problems are already causing a mass exodus or movement of people. They include:

* Poor crop yields are forcing more and more Mexicans to risk death by illegally fleeing to the US.

* One in five Brazilians born in the arid north-east of the country are moving to avoid drought.

* The spread of the Gobi desert, at a rate of 4,000 square miles a year, is forcing the populations of three provinces in China to abandon their homes.

* In Nigeria, 1,350 sq miles of land is turning to desert each year. Farmers and herdsmen are being forced to move to the cities.

* The population of Tuvalu, a group of eight Pacific islands north-east of Australia, is already being evacuated; nearly 3,000 Tuvalans have left so far.

Mass movements of people across the world are likely to be one of the most dramatic effects of climate change in the coming century, a study suggests.

The report, from the aid agency Tearfund, raises the spectre of hundreds of millions of environmental refugees and says the main reason will be the effects of climate - from droughts and water shortages, from flooding and storm surges and from sea-level rise.

The study, "Feeling the Heat", says there are already an estimated 25 million environmental refugees, and this figure is likely to soar as rain patterns continue to change, floods and storms become more frequent and rising tides start to inundate low-lying countries such as Bangladesh or some of the Pacific islands.

Tearfund says that without urgent action, world governments will lose the fight to tackle the world water crisis and the growing threat of climate-change refugees in catastrophic numbers.

The report calls for governments at the UN Climate Change conference, beginning in Nairobi in a fortnight, to move towards a global framework for cutting climate-changing greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide that goes beyond the existing climate treaty, the Kyoto protocol, and to commit billions more to help poor countries adapt to the coming changes.

"There will be millions more thirsty, hungry and ill poor people living in high-risk areas of the world by the end of the century," the report says. "It makes sense politically, economically and morally, for governments to act with urgency now."

Andy Atkins, advocacy director of Tearfund, said one of the most devastating impacts of climate change was on water supply. "In some parts of the world, floods, storms and poor rainfall are beginning to have catastrophic effects, threatening the lives and livelihoods of millions of people," he said.

This process will be steadily exacerbated, the report says, by the differing yet equally serious changes predicted to be part of a warming world. While some parts of the globe may experience much less rainfall and thus drought, others regions will have much more intense rain likely to bring about flooding. Sea-level rise , which a recent report suggested could be up to 50cm by 2050, would at that rate breach 100,000 kms (62,000 miles) of coastline around the world.

The report says: "As floods, drought and storms increase climate change will have a potentially catastrophic impact on water supply, threatening the lives and livelihoods of millions of people. Poor people - like the 80 per cent of Malawi's population who farm small plots - are reliant on rain for their harvests, and are least able to adapt to climate change. By exacerbating existing water stresses, climate change impacts many other areas of human development such as health and even industry."
It goes on: "Already, there are an estimated 25 million environmental refugees - more than half the number of political refugees. Experts such as the ecologist Norman Myers suggest this figure could soar to 200 million in less than 50 years. Unseen and uncounted, millions are already on the move in search of greater water security. In some countries, the exodus began years ago."

In the report's foreword, Sir John Houghton, former chairman of the Scientific Assessment Working Group of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, says politicians' strong words on climate change must now be matched by sufficient investment and strong action to cut global emissions, and help for the poorest nations adapt to climate change on their doorstep. A key to this will be helping poorer nations manage existing water supplies more efficiently.

"If your house is on fire, do you urgently try to save it, or throw your hands up in despair and walk away?" Sir John saysd. "Well, the house is on fire and it requires much more determined efforts to bring it under control and put it out. The UN climate change conference in Nairobi is an opportunity for failings to be addressed. Time is running out on us and world governments need to act much more responsibly, effectively and quickly."

The devastating impact

The report cites examples of where water problems are already causing a mass exodus or movement of people. They include:

* Poor crop yields are forcing more and more Mexicans to risk death by illegally fleeing to the US.

* One in five Brazilians born in the arid north-east of the country are moving to avoid drought.

* The spread of the Gobi desert, at a rate of 4,000 square miles a year, is forcing the populations of three provinces in China to abandon their homes.

* In Nigeria, 1,350 sq miles of land is turning to desert each year. Farmers and herdsmen are being forced to move to the cities.

* The population of Tuvalu, a group of eight Pacific islands north-east of Australia, is already being evacuated; nearly 3,000 Tuvalans have left so far.

**************************

Jo

Post edited by: jodd, at: 2006/10/20 16:37

The world - especially the Western United States, the Mediterranean region and Brazil - will likely suffer more extended droughts, heavy rainfalls and longer heat waves over the next century because of global warming, a new study forecasts. But the prediction of a future of nasty extreme weather also includes fewer freezes and a longer growing season. In a preview of a major international multiyear report on climate change that comes out next year, a study out of the National Center for Atmospheric Research details what nine of the world’s top computer models predict for the lurching of climate at its most extreme. “It’s going to be a wild ride, especially for specific regions,” said study lead author Claudia Tebaldi, a scientist at the federally funded academic research center. Tebaldi pointed to the Western U.S., Mediterranean nations and Brazil as “hot spots” that will get extremes at their worst, according to the computer models. And some places, such as the Pacific Northwest, are predicted to get a strange double whammy of longer dry spells punctuated by heavier rainfall. ... “Extreme events are the kinds of things that have the biggest impacts, not only on humans, but on mammals and ecosystems,” Meehl said. The study, to be published in the December issue of the peer-reviewed journal Climatic Change, “gives us stronger and more compelling evidence that these changes in extremes are more likely.” The researchers took 10 international agreed-upon indices that measure climate extremes - five that deal with temperature and five with precipitation - and ran computer models for the world through the year 2099. What Tebaldi called the scariest results had to do with heat waves and warm nights. Everything about heat waves - their intensity, length and occurrence - worsens. “The changes are very significant there,” Tebaldi said. “It’s enough to say we’re in for a bad future.”

Latest">http://news.bostonherald.com/national/view.bg?articleid=163301]Latest global warming study predicts ’wild ride’ of droughts, heavy rain

Post edited by: martin, at: 2006/10/21 09:53

A report for UK govt, by Sir Nicholas Stern, a former chief economist for the World Bank, tells of massive, extremely expensive potential impacts from global warming - on a par with impacts of world wars or Great Depression. Possible to avert the worst impacts, but only if we take major action (yeah, right, like that's gonna happen!).

Potential effects include melting glaciers, rising sea levels - a major cause of displacing millions of people, major extinctions, and severe economic impacts. To avert these, wise to spend on counter-measures, even if around 1% of global GDP.
Summary - and links to more info - on BBC site at:
[url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/6098362.stm]At-a-glance: The Stern Review
The world has to act now on climate change or face devastating economic consequences, according to a report compiled by Sir Nicholas Stern for the UK government.[/url]

New research suggests insects could increase with warmer weather, leading to increases in threats such as disease transmission, and crop pests.
[url=http://www.livescience.com/animalworld/061104_gb_insects.html]Global Warming Could Trigger Insect Population Boom[/url]

a BBC news item includes:

By Jonathan Amos Science reporter, BBC News, San Francisco The Arctic may be close to a tipping point that sees all-year-round ice disappear very rapidly in the next few decades, US scientists have warned.

The latest data presented at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting suggests the ice is no longer showing a robust recovery from the summer melt. ... Dr Serreze's concern was underlined by new computer modelling which concludes that the Arctic may be free of all summer ice by as early as 2040.

The new study, by a team of scientists from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), the University of Washington, and McGill University, found that the ice system could be being weakened to such a degree by global warming that it soon accelerates its own decline.

"As the ice retreats, the ocean transports more heat to the Arctic and the open water absorbs more sunlight, further accelerating the rate of warming and leading to the loss of more ice," explained Dr Marika Holland.

"This is a positive feedback loop with dramatic implications for the entire Arctic region."...

Arctic">http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6171053.stm]Arctic sea ice 'faces rapid melt'

As yet another hot year for the planet has just ended, article in Independent suggests 2007 could set new high for hottest year on record worldwide:

[quote]A combination of global warming and the El Niño weather system is set to make 2007 the warmest year on record with far-reaching consequences for the planet, one of Britain's leading climate experts has warned.

...the forecast for the next 12 months is of extreme global weather patterns which could bring drought to Indonesia and leave California under a deluge.

The warning, from Professor Phil Jones, director of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, was one of four sobering predictions from senior scientists and forecasters that 2007 will be a crucial year for determining the response to global warming and its effect on humanity.

Professor Jones said the long-term trend of global warming - already blamed for bringing drought to the Horn of Africa and melting the Arctic ice shelf - is set to be exacerbated by the arrival of El Niño, the phenomenon caused by above-average sea temperatures in the Pacific.
...
The warning of the escalating impact of global warming was echoed by Jim Hansen, the American scientist who, in 1988, was one of the first to warn of climate change.

In an interview with The Independent, Dr Hansen predicted that global warming would run out of control and change the planet for ever unless rapid action is taken to reverse the rise in carbon emissions.[/quote]
[url=http://news.independent.co.uk/environment/article2116873.ece] World faces hottest year ever, as El Niño combines with global warming[/url]

Post edited by: Martin, at: 2007/01/01 20:21

Also from the Independent:

[quote] One of the world's leading experts on climate change has warned that the Earth is being turned into a "different planet" because of the continuing increase in man-made emissions of greenhouse gases.

In an interview with The Independent, Jim Hansen, who was one of the first scientists to warn of climate change in scientific testimony to the US Congress in 1988, claimed that we have less than 10 years to begin to curb carbon dioxide emissions before global warming runs out of control and changes the landscape forever.
...
"If we follow business as usual, and we don't get off this course where year by year we're getting larger and larger emissions of CO2, then we'll have large sea-level rises this century and I think that will become more apparent over the next decade or two," Dr Hansen said.

"The last time it was 3C warmer, sea levels were 25 metres higher, plus or minus 10 metres. You'd not get that in one century, but you could get several metres in one century," he said.[/quote]
[url=http://news.independent.co.uk/environment/article2116874.ece] 'If we fail to act, we will end up with a different planet'[/url]

Financial Times, on report to be released next week by European Commission:

A dire set of predictions of the consequences of global warming in Europe is contained in a report for the European Commission. It forecasts that by 2071 climate change will cause droughts and floods that will kill 90,000 people a year while damage from rising sea levels will cost tens of billions of euros. ... Crop yields would rise by up to 70 per cent in northern Europe but fall by up to a fifth in the south, depending on the temperature increase. ... The sea level could rise by up to a metre. ... The ocean would acidify, hitting fish stocks. Fish would also migrate northwards. Droughts and floods would be more severe. ... The report has a hopeful conclusion. A Belgian government study last year found that cutting carbon dioxide emissions in the EU by between 15 and 30 per cent between 1990 and 2020 would have no overall effect on jobs, as new ones would be created in high-technology sectors such as renewable energy. “Reducing global emissions in 2050 to a level that is 25 per cent below that of 1990 is both technically and economically achievable,” the study concludes.

EU">http://www.ft.com/cms/s/c70b7cfc-9ce4-11db-8ec6-0000779e2340.html]EU’s grim climate change warning

Post edited by: Martin, at: 2007/01/06 21:33

[quote]Rising sea levels because of global warming stand to inundate around 2,000 islands in Indonesia by 2030, the country's environment minister said Monday. The assessment by Rachmat Witoelar was the government's bleakest yet of the effects of global warming on the Southeast Asian nation that is made up of some 18,000 islands, most of them unpopulated. ... The environment minister also said rice shortages are forecast for next year because of wild weather blamed on climate change.[/quote] Global warming may affect Indonesia isles

from the Independent:

Global warming over the past quarter century has led to a fall in the yield of some of the most important food crops in the world, according to one of the first scientific studies of how climate change has affected cereal crops.

Rising temperatures between 1981 and 2002 caused aloss in production of wheat, corn and barley that amounted in effect to some 40 million tons a year - equivalent to annual losses of some £2.6bn.

Although these numbers are not large compared to the world-wide production of cereal crops, scientists warned that the findings demonstrated how climate change was already having an impact on the global production of staple foods. "Most people tend to think of climate change as something that will impact the future, but this study shows that warming over the past two decades has already had real effects on global food supply," said Christopher Field of the Carnegie Institution in Stanford, California. ...

">http://news.independent.co.uk/environment/climate_change/article2371569.... World's most important crops hit by global warming effects

for abstract of paper, and link to full paper (for which need subscription): Global">http://environmentalresearchweb.org/cws/article/journals/27342]Global scale climate–crop yield relationships and the impacts of recent warming Changes in the global production of major crops are important drivers of food prices, food security and land use decisions.

Even as idiots argue that global warming's a swindle and a scam, the science gets scarier.
[quote]A new global warming study predicts that many current climate zones will vanish entirely by the year 2100, replaced by climates unknown in today's world.

Global climate models for the next century forecast the complete disappearance of several existing climates currently found in tropical highlands and regions near the poles, while large swaths of the tropics and subtropics may develop new climates unlike anything seen today. Driven by worldwide greenhouse gas emissions, the climate modeling study uses average summer and winter temperatures and precipitation levels to map the differences between climate zones today and in the year 2100 and anticipates large climate changes worldwide.
,,,
The most severely affected parts of the world span both heavily populated regions, including the southeastern United States, southeastern Asia and parts of Africa, and known hotspots of biodiversity, such as the Amazonian rainforest and African and South American mountain ranges. The changes predicted by the new study anticipate dramatic ecological shifts, with unknown but probably extensive effects on large segments of the Earth's population.

"All policy and management strategies are based on current conditions," Williams says, adding that regions with the largest changes are where these strategies and models are most likely to fail. "How do you make predictions for these areas of the unknown?"
...
The underlying effect is clear, Williams says, noting, "More carbon dioxide in the air means more risk of entirely new climates or climates disappearing."

In general, the models show that existing climate zones will shift toward higher latitudes and higher elevations, squeezing out the climates at the extremes — tropical mountaintops and the poles — and leaving room for unfamiliar climes around the equator.[/quote]
[url=http://www.news.wisc.edu/13600.html]Global warming forecasts creation, loss of climate zones[/url]

At least 1 billion people will be forced from their homes between now and 2050 as the effects of climate change deepen an already burgeoning global migration crisis, predicts a new report by Christian Aid.

These future migrants will swell the ranks of the 155 million people already displaced by conflict, disaster and large-scale development projects. The vast majority will be from the world’s poorest countries. Urgent action by the world community is needed if the worst effects of this crisis are to be averted, says Human tide: the real migration crisis.

‘We believe that forced migration is now the most urgent threat facing poor people in the developing world,’ says John Davison, the report’s lead author.

Published to mark Christian Aid Week 2007, the report warns that the world is now facing its largest ever movement of people forced from their homes. The predicted numbers of displaced people could dwarf even those left as refugees following the Second World War.

The impact of climate change is the great, frightening unknown in this equation. Only now is serious academic attention being devoted to calculating the scale of this new human tide. Even existing estimates, more than a decade old, predict that hundreds of millions of people will be forced from their homes by floods, drought and famine sparked by climate change.

Security experts fear that this new migration will fuel existing conflicts and generate new ones in the areas of the world – the poorest – where resources are most scarce. A world of many more Darfurs is the increasingly likely nightmare scenario. ...

World">http://www.christian-aid.org.uk/news/media/pressrel/070514p.htm]World facing worst migration crisis - you can download the report here

Post edited by: Martin, at: 2007/05/16 14:37

Globally, sea levels are projected to possibly rise three feet by the end of the 21st century as a result of global warming, with three of the five coastal areas in the world projected to be most at risk of flooding are in Africa. In addition, as temperatures rise and enlarge already arid regions, resources were likely to decrease -- and human conflict could increase. Global warming isn't just a matter of melting icebergs and polar bears chasing after them. It's also Lake Chad drying up, the glaciers of Mt. Kilimanjaro disappearing, increasing extreme weather, conflict and hungry people throughout Africa.

According to a landmark effort to assess the risks of global warming, Africa -- by far the lowest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world -- is projected to be among the regions hardest hit by environmental change.

"We never used to have malaria in the highlands where I'm from, now we do," said Kenyan lawmaker Mwancha Okioma, at a briefing on climate change at the Pan African Parliament Monday.

The new environmental committee, headed by Okioma, raised concerns about the severity of climate change on Africa and called for those responsible to help reduce its effects.

"Planes used to take people through Kilimanjaro to see the snows, now it's only at the very top. We are asking the ones in North America and Europe who are producing the pollution to help us," Okioma said.

By reviewing four years of research on projected climate change in Africa, scientists with the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change got a nuanced view of possible scenarios and assessed how these scenarios could play themselves out in a continent already stressed -- water and food insecurity, infectious diseases, conflict, poverty.

"There's a whole suite of indicators which with climate change would undoubtedly make Africa one of the most stressed regions," said Coleen Vogel, an environmental expert at South Africa's University of Witwatersrand and lead author of a chapter on Africa being released this month by the Intergovernmental Panel.

An orbiting satellite over Africa in 2050 might see, according to the scientists' models, a drier north-northwest and south-southwest and wetter eastern and central regions.

">http://www.sci-tech-today.com/story.xhtml?story_id=033001UM04NR] Panel Says Climate Change Will Hurt Africa

From China Daily report:

[quote]The country's grain harvest is likely to fall considerably because of global warming and it will need an additional 10 million hectares of arable land to feed the people by 2030, a top climate official said Wednesday.

"Global warming may cause the grain harvest to fall by 5 to 10 percent, that is by 30-50 million tons, by 2030," said Zheng Guoguang, head of the State Meteorological Administration.

And since the population is expected to peak at 1.5 billion in 2030, 200 million more than now, the country would need to produce an additional 100 million tons of food to feed them.
...
"Warmer weather will shorten the growth period of some grains and their seeds won't have enough time to ripen."

The swarm of insects will increase, too, because warmer winters will enable them to be active in spring, Zheng said.

Also, a 1 C rise in temperature would hasten the speed of ground water evaporation by 7 percent and that would greatly affect grain production, he said.[/quote]
[url=http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2007-08/23/content_6036976.htm] More arable land 'needed' by 2030[/url]

From CNN: [quote]As the world warms, the United States will face more severe thunderstorms with deadly lightning, damaging hail and the potential for tornadoes, a trailblazing study by NASA scientists suggests. While other research has warned of broad weather changes on a large scale, like more extreme hurricanes and droughts, the new study predicts even smaller events like thunderstorms will be more dangerous because of global warming. The basic ingredients for whopper U.S. inland storms are likely to be more plentiful in a warmer, moister world, said lead author Tony Del Genio, a NASA research scientist. And when that happens, watch out.
"The strongest thunderstorms, the strongest severe storms and tornadoes are likely to happen more often and be stronger," Del Genio said in an interview Thursday from his office at the Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York. The paper he co-authored was published online this month in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. Other scientists caution that this area of climate research is too difficult and new for this study to be definitive. But some upcoming studies also point in the same direction.[/quote] Study: Global warming could bring more severe U.S. storms
Presumably, similar scenarios can be expected for other places - inc China, say, which this year has experienced several major thunderstorms associated with summer flooding.

"If it really is a few degrees warmer in the next 50 years, we could definitely have more cardiovascular disease," said Dr. Karin Schenck-Gustafsson, of the department of cardiology at Sweden's Karolinska Institute. On the sidelines of the European Society of Cardiology's annual meeting in Vienna this week, some experts said the issue deserves more attention. It's well-known that people have more heart problems when it's hot. ... The hardening of the heart's arteries is like rust developing on a car, said Dr. Gordon Tomaselli, chief of cardiology at Johns Hopkins University. "Rust develops much more quickly at warm temperatures and so does atherosclerosis," said Tomaselli, who is program chair at the American Heart Association. In higher temperatures, we sweat to get rid of heat. During that process, blood is sent to the skin where temperatures are cooler, which opens up the blood vessels. In turn, the heart rate rises and blood pressure drops. That combination can be dangerous for older people and those with weakened cardiovascular systems.

Global Warming May Pose Threat to Heart

Not real surprising to anyone familiar with global warming issue. From Food and Agriculture Organisation:

Climate change is emerging as one of the main challenges humankind will have to face for many years to come. It could become a major threat to world food security, as it has a strong impact on food production, access and distribution.

Abnormal changes in air temperature and rainfall and the increasing frequency and intensity of drought and floods have long-term implications for the viability and productivity of world agro-ecosystems.

This was the main message delivered today by Alexander Müller, FAO Assistant Director General, to over 140 world experts convened in Rome for a workshop on “Adaptation Planning and Strategies." ... Agriculture is the sector most affected by changes in climate patterns and will be increasingly vulnerable in the future. Especially at risk are developing countries, which are highly dependent on agriculture and have fewer resources and options to combat damage from climate change.

In the short term, as the global average temperature rises 1-3º C, industrialized countries may well gain in food production potential. However, in lower latitudes -- especially in subsistence sectors, marginal, semi-arid and sub-humid regions, where rain fed agriculture is the norm -- even with a minimal rise in global temperature crop potential will most probably decline.

Living">http://www.fao.org/newsroom/en/news/2007/1000654/index.html]Living with climate change Adaptation strategies needed to build resilience

Alternet has long list of predictions re global warming, from the Center for American Progress. A few seem trivial; most serious. Include:
[quote]Say Hello to Bulgarian Hooker Shortages. "Brothel owners in Bulgaria are blaming global warming for staff shortages. They claim their best girls are working in ski resorts because a lack of snow has forced tourists to seek other pleasures."
...
Species Disappear. The latest report from the World Conservation Union says that a minimum of 40 percent of the world's species are being threatened ... and global warming's one of the main culprits.
...
Greenland's Melting. Greenland is melting at a rate of 52 cubic miles per year -- much faster than once predicted. If Greenland 's entire 2.5 million cubic kilometers of ice were to melt, it would lead to a global sea level rise of 7.2 meters, or more than 23 feet.
...
IISS: "A Global Catastrophe" For International Security. A recent study done by the International Institute for Strategic Studies has likened the international security effects of global warming to those caused by nuclear war.
...
The World's Checkbook. A study by the Global Development and Environment Institute at Tufts University found that ignoring global warming would end up costing $20 trillion by 2100.[/quote]
[url=http://www.alternet.org/environment/63895/?page=1]Top 100 Ways Global Warming Will Change Your Life[/url]

Some predictions for likely transformations to impact California - surely give some indication of the kinds of radical changes likely in many places: [quote]as scientists try to forecast how global warming might affect the nation's most geographically diverse state, they envision a landscape that could look quite different by the end of this century, if not sooner. Where celebrities, surfers and wannabes mingle on Malibu's world-famous beaches, there may be only sea walls defending fading mansions from the encroaching Pacific. In Northern California, tourists could have to drive farther north or to the cool edge of the Pacific to find what is left of the region's signature wine country. Abandoned ski lifts might dangle above snowless trails more suitable for mountain biking even during much of the winter. In the deserts, Joshua trees that once extended their tangled, shaggy arms into the sky by the thousands may have all but disappeared.[/quote]
Global Warming to Alter Calif. Landscape

Report from Oxford Research Group forecast climate change problems could include serious security consequences (civil unrest, intercommunal violence, and international instability). V brief summary:

Climate change will have serious environmental, socio-economic and security consequences for both developed and developing nations alike. This report explores these consequences and demonstrates that they will present new challenges to governments trying to maintain domestic stability.

">http://www.oxfordresearchgroup.org.uk/publications/briefing_papers/uncer... An Uncertain Future: Law Enforcement, National Security and Climate Change

from BBC site:
[quote]Sea levels could rise by up to one-and-a-half metres by the end of this century, according to a new scientific analysis.

This is substantially more than the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) forecast in last year's landmark assessment of climate science.
...
The new analysis comes from a UK/Finnish team which has built a computer model linking temperatures to sea levels for the last two millennia.

"For the past 2,000 years, the [global average] sea level was very stable, it only varied by about 20cm," said Svetlana Jevrejeva from the Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory (POL), near Liverpool, UK.

"But by the end of the century, we predict it will rise by between 0.8m and 1.5m.

"The rapid rise in the coming years is associated with the rapid melting of ice sheets."[/quote]
[url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7349236.stm] Forecast for big sea level ri[/url]

So, you thought the future looked grim in Terminator? From report in Daily Telegraph:

Climate change could cause global conflicts as large as the two World Wars which will last for centuries unless it is controlled, a leading defence think tank has warned.

The Royal United Services Institute said a tenfold increase in research spending, comparable to the amount spent on the Apollo space programme, will be needed if the world is to avoid the worst effects of changing temperatures. ... The report said: "If climate change is not slowed and critical environmental thresholds are exceeded, then it will become a primary driver of conflicts between and within states."

It added: "Climate impacts will force us into a radical rethink of how we identify and secure our national interests. For example, our energy and climate security will increasingly depend on stronger alliances with other large energy consumers, such as China, to develop and deploy new energy technologies, and less on relations with oil producing states.

"No strategy for long run peace and stability in Afghanistan can possibly succeed unless local livelihoods can survive the impact of a changing climate on water availability and crop yields."

">http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/main.jhtml?xml=/earth/2008/04/22/easecu...'Tenfold R&D rise needed for climate change'

From The TImes, on new US Environment Protection Agency report that - surprise! - the Bush administration had sought to keep quiet.

In a 149-page analysis released last night, experts for the first time laid out the grave risks that climate change poses to human health, and to the supplies of food, water and energy on which populations depend.

“Risk to human health, society and the environment increases with increases in both the rate and magnitude of climate change,” scientists at the Environmental Protection Agency said. In a more absolute pronouncement on the science of climate change than the White House has so far been prepared to accept, they said that global warming was “unequivocal,” and that humans were to blame.

The document warns that extreme weather events, such as hurricanes, and diseases carried by ticks and other organisms could kill more people as temperatures rise. Intensifying heat waves will result in increased mortality, particularly amongst the young and old, while flooding could impact water quality.Allergies could become more severe because climate change could produce more pollen, it says, while worsening smog will increase the risk of respiratory illness, asthma and even premature death, it says. However at the same time, global warming could mean fewer illnesses and deaths due to cold.

Food supplies are likely to diminish as crops fail, while water is expected to become more scarce as a result of greater evaporation and reduced snowpack, leading to increased competition for resources.

The scientists also raised the nightmare prospect of repeats of the catastrophe suffered by New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. Not only is the United States set to experience increasingly severe and frequent hurricanes, rising sea levels mean coastal communities face worsening flooding in the event of storms.

"This is a long-awaited EPA analysis that has been kept under wraps by the White House,” Vickie Patton, deputy general counsel of the Environmental Defense Fund, said. “This document inescapably, unmistakably shows that global warming pollution not only threatens human health and welfare, but it is adversely impacting human health and welfare today.

“What this document demonstrates is that the imperative for action is now.

Government scientists wrangle with White House over climate health dangers

From Scientific American:[quote]As the globe continues to warm, the rainiest parts of the world are very likely to get wetter, according to a new study in Science. Desert dwellers, however, are likely to see what little rain they receive dry up, as the rain becomes even more concentrated in high-precipitation areas. Atmospheric scientists Richard Allan of the University of Reading in England and Brian Soden of the University of Miami looked at satellite records of daily rainfall stretching back to 1987 to see how warmer temperatures had affected precipitation. ... "For the period we examined, 1987 to 2004, there was a clear relationship between warm El Niño events and increased occurrence of heavy precipitation," Soden says. Such "events will certainly become more frequent in a warmer climate."[/quote]Climate Change Equals Stronger Rains Tracking El Nino with satellites reveals that a warming world means not only heavier downpours--but drier deserts 

From Greenpeace China:

Beijing, China — China will lose its self sufficiency in food production as early as 2030 because of climate change, warns a new report by Greenpeace released today on the eve of World Food Day 2008. This disaster can only be averted if the government takes immediate action to cut its greenhouse gas emissions and adopt policies encouraging more climate-friendly ecological agriculture.

As a result of the combination of temperature rise, loss of arable land and water scarcity, China’s overall food production will drop by up to 23 percent by 2050 from its 2000 level, says the report, “Climate Change and Food Security in China.”

The report was authored by China’s top climate experts and agronomists commissioned by Greenpeace.

At the press conference, the report’s leading author and China’s top scientist for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Professor Lin Erda from the China Academy of Agricultural Sciences, said: “Climate change is affecting agricultural production through changes in temperature, water availability, soil condition, extreme weather, crop diseases and pest outbreaks. Under a high greenhouse gas emission scenario, basic food supplies will become insufficient around 2030.”

According to the World Bank, 33 countries are now in danger of political destabilisation and internal conflict driven by rising food prices.

“China is particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Ecological
agriculture, which works with nature rather than against it, can drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” Greenpeace climate campaigner Li Yan said.

“Compared with today’s destructive chemical and fossil energy intensive agriculture, ecological agriculture better adapts to and survives the effects of climate change,” Professor Lin echoed.

The construction of biogas generators in China’s rural areas can control methane emissions during the processing of organic fertilizer. Use of biogas, instead of coal, for cooking and heating in all of China’s rural areas can cut carbon dioxide emissions by over 46 million tons annually, the report points out.

A parallel investigation by Greenpeace in China’s Jiangsu and Guizhou provinces also provides examples of how China’s farmers benefit from ecological agriculture, despite extreme weather events such as typhoons and snow storms.

“China is already paying heavily for climate change. In order to feed the world’s largest population, continuously and sustainably, China needs to immediately cut its overall emissions and adopt new policies that encourage ecological agriculture” said Li Yan.

Climate Change Threatens China's Food Security, warns Greenpeace

From Time magazine:
[quote]A study published in the Jan. 9 issue of Science shows that far from compensating for the other damages associated with climate change (heavier and more frequent storms, increasing desertification, sea level rise), hotter temperatures will seriously diminish the world's ability to feed itself. David Battisti, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Washington, and Rosamond Naylor, director of the Program for Food Security and the Environment at Stanford University, analyzed data from 23 different climate models and found a more than 90% chance that by the end of the century, average growing season temperatures would be hotter than the most extreme levels recorded in the past.
That means that barring a swift and sudden reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, by the end of the century an average July day will almost certainly be hotter than the hottest heat waves we experience now. And the extreme heat will wilt our crops.
...
"I'm very concerned," says Naylor. "How are we going to feed a world of eight or nine billion, with the effects of climate change?"[/quote]
Why Global Warming Portends a Food Crisis