Climate change hotspots
North America, Europe and Asia can generally expect more severe heat waves and droughts alongside more intense storms related to flooding, said Michael Wehner, a climate scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California. On the other hand, cold snaps could become less severe.
Other regions could see even more radical changes in their normal climates.
"Central America, the Caribbean and the Mediterranean are projected to experience what is now considered drought as a new normal condition," Wehner told InnovationNewsDaily. "The impacts on agriculture could be severe, especially on impoverished nations."
The melting Arctic is experiencing some of the greatest warming — often with devastating consequences for local wildlife and people — but climate change's greatest impact may take place in more densely populated regions.
"Strongly negative impacts of climate change are predicted in Central America, central South America, the Arabian Peninsula, Southeast Asia and much of Africa,"...
...the vulnerable regions identified by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) — the Arctic, Africa, small islands (such as the Maldives and Kiribati), and the Asian and African megadeltas where huge cities filled with millions of people face rising seas, storm surges and flooding rivers.
Countries in the danger zone
So what countries face the greatest danger from climate change? Maplecroft, a British consultancy, has created a "Climate Change and Environment Risk Atlas," a list of 193 countries ranked by those most vulnerable to climate change because of factors such as population density or state of development.
The 2012 edition of the risk atlas identified 30 countries as being at extreme risk. The top 10 most at risk include: Haiti, Bangladesh, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe, Madagascar, Cambodia, Mozambique, Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi and the Philippines.
Some countries with lower risk ratings still have danger zones that face "extreme risk" from climate change. Maplecroft pointed to the southwest of Brazil and China's coastal regions as examples, even though both countries rate as "medium risk" overall. Six of the world's fastest-growing cities also received "extreme risk" ratings: Calcutta in India, Manila in the Philippines, Jakarta in Indonesia, Dhaka and Chittagong in Bangladesh, and Addis Ababa in Ethiopia.
A new study forcasts a reduction of 40 to 70 per cent rainfall below normal in monsoon rainfall over India as end of the 21st approaches and the 22nd begins.
... into the 22nd, century, increasing temperatures and a change in strength of the Pacific Walker circulation in spring could cause more frequent and severe changes in monsoon rainfall.
The Walker circulation usually brings areas of high pressure to the western Indian Ocean but, in years when El Niño occurs, this pattern gets shifted eastward, bringing high pressure over India and suppressing the monsoon, especially in spring when the monsoon begins to develop.
The researchers' simulations showed that as temperatures increase in the future, the Walker circulation, on average, brings more high pressure over India, even though the occurrence of El Niño doesn't increase.
In the US, Louisiana will be the first state innundated.
Stunning new data not yet publicly released shows Louisiana losing its battle with rising seas much more quickly than even the most pessimistic studies have predicted to date. …
Southeast Louisiana — with an average elevation just three feet above sea level — has long been considered one of the landscapes most threatened by global warming. That’s because the delta it’s built on — starved of river sediment and sliced by canals — is sinking at the same time that oceans are rising. The combination of those two forces is called relative sea-level rise, and its impact can be dramatic.
In the US, Phoenix may be the first city to succumb to Climate Destabilization.
The 2013 Climate Change Vulnerability Index shows the most vulnerable places. The cities at extreme risk are
- Dhaka, Bangladesh
- Manila, Philippines
- Bangkok, Thailand
- Yangon, Myanmar
- Jakarta, Indonesia
- Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
- Kolkata, India
New models that take storms and wave action into account predict a much faster demise for low lying islands than the passive "bathtub" models to date.
Dynamic modeling of sea-level rise, which takes storm wind and wave action into account, paints a much graver picture for some low-lying Pacific islands under climate-change scenarios than the passive computer modeling used in earlier research, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey report.
A team led by research oceanographer Curt Storlazzi of the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center compared passive "bathtub" inundation models with dynamic models for two of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands in the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. The team studied Midway, a classic atoll with islands on the shallow (2–8 meters or 6–26 feet deep) atoll rim and a deep, central lagoon, and Laysan, which is higher, with a 20–30 meter (65–98 feet) deep rim and an island in the center of the atoll. Together, the two locations exhibit landforms and coastal features common to many Pacific islands. Managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, they are also among the world’s most important nesting and breeding sites for migratory birds and other wildlife.
"Passive 'bathtub' inundation models typically used to forecast sea-level rise impacts suggest that most of the low-lying atolls in the Pacific Islands will still be above sea level for the next 50-150 years. By taking wave-driven processes into account, we forecast that many of the atolls will be inundated, contaminating freshwater supplies and thus making the islands uninhabitable, much sooner," Storlazzi said.
The team found that at least twice as much land is forecast to be inundated on Midway and Laysan by sea-level rise than was projected by passive models. [emphasis mine]
Do you imagine the US isn't really vulnerable to Climate Change? Here's a video if expected sea level rise.
One in four London properties, collectively worth around £250bn, are at risk of flooding, according to official assessments of the dangers now facing homes in England and Wales. Ten of the top 25 most at-risk local authority areas across England and Wales are now London boroughs.