Friday, August 10, 2012

Unparalleled Onslaught of Disasters Due to Global Warming

Global warming is leading to such severe storms, droughts and warm waves that countries should prepare for an unprecedented onslaught of deadly and costly weather disasters, an international board of weather scientists says in a report issued Wednesday. The greatest danger from extreme climate is in highly populated, poor regions of the world, the statement warns, but no corner of the globe from Mumbai to Miami - is immune. The document by a Nobel Prize-winning panel of climate scientists forecasts stronger tropical cyclones and more frequent heat waves, deluges and droughts.
According to the scientists, some places, particularly parts of Mumbai in India, could become uninhabitable from floods, storms and rising seas. In 2005, over 24 hours nearly 900 millimetres of rain fell on the city, killing more than 1,000 people and causing massive damage. Roughly 2.7 million people live in areas at risk of flooding. Other cities at lesser risk include Miami, Shanghai, Bangkok, China's Guangzhou, Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh City, Myanmar's Yangon (formerly known as Rangoon) and India's Kolkata (formerly known as Calcutta). The people of small island nations, such as the Maldives, may also need to abandon their homes because of rising seas and fierce storms.

 IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri told The Associated Press that while all countries are getting hurt by increased climate extremes, the overwhelming majority of deaths are happening in poorer less developed places. That, combined with the fact that richer countries are generating more greenhouse gases from the burning of fossil fuels, makes the issue of weather extremes one of fairness.

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