Thursday, September 22, 2016

Dire Climate Impacts Go Unheeded

New scientific studies address lack of awareness of the adverse economic, social and biodiversity effects that climate change is already having.

More field studies are needed to gather detailed information on species loss. (Image Credit: Aniket Suryavanshi via Flickr) Click to Enlarge.
The social and economic impacts of climate change have already begun to take their toll – but most people do not yet know this.

Politicians and economists have yet to work out how and when it would be best to adapt to change.  And biologists say they cannot even begin to measure climate change’s effect on biodiversity because there is not enough information.

Two studies in Science journal address the future.  The first points out that historical temperature increases depress maize crop yields in the US by 48% and have already driven up the rates of civil conflict in sub-Saharan Africa by 11%.

Economic growth
Hot weather in future could slow global economic growth rates by nearly 0.30 percentage points per year.

Almost as surprising, according to Solomon Hsiang, principal investigator in the Global Policy Lab at the University of California, Berkeley, is that nobody seems to be aware of these facts.

“People get so used to hot days, since they happen all the time, that they never stop to consider that those days are costing them,” Professor Hsiang says.

“But if people used different technologies or organised their lives differently to adapt to their climate, then we might be able to do dramatically better.”

Read more at Dire Climate Impacts Go Unheeded

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