News Stories

Climate Change Timetable

We know that global warming will change the weather worldwide, but what's the timetable for your particular part of the world?

In LiveScience.com, Andrea Thompson and Ker Than make the following speculations, based on a recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC):

Right now, in 2007, more of the world lives in cities than rural areas, meaning that more of us depend on more specific areas to grow our food.

Between 2008 and 2018, oil may reach its peak, then start an irreversible decline. While fewer emissions will be better for global warming, it will mean that all those city-dwellers, who depend on electricity, could be thrust out into the cold (or heat).

In 2020, in a continuation of the weather extremes that are produced by global warming, the IPCC report predicts an increase in flash floods. However, during the same period, less rainfall could reduce agriculture yields in some parts of the world by 50%.

Ten years later, in 2030, it's predicted that diarrhea-related diseases will increase by 5%. This may not seem serious to us in the West, but diarrhea is the biggest killer of infants in the third world. Also during this period, 18-30% of the world's coral reefs will be lost, and along with them, another major food source for much of the world: fish.

Go forward 10 more years to 2040 and the Arctic sea will be completely free of ice in the summer. In 2050, small mountain glaciers will completely disappear, and large glaciers will shrink 30-70%. This will lead to flooding in coastal areas. Heat-related deaths will increase, especially in Australia and New York City. The opposite will happen in the UK, which will start to get much colder.

In 2070 there will be more droughts, leading to more frequent fires. In 2080, sea levels around New York City will rise 3 feet, "flooding the Rockaways, Coney Island, much of southern Brooklyn and Queens, portions of Long Island City, Astoria, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, Queens, lower Manhattan and eastern Staten Island from Great Kills Harbor north to the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge."

Art credit: freeimages.co.uk

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