waiting for the next ipcc report – a report of the world bank

As known to the public, we are in a 4-degrees-scenario. That means, that with emissions rising as in the last ten years, a global temperature rise of 4 k in 2100 is probable. (Graphics from here.)

The most complete compilation of research about climate change are the IPCC reports, which appear in larger time intervals – the next is to be expected in 2014. Those who can’t wait can take the world bank report “Turn down the heat” (, written by a team from Potsdam Institiute for Climate Impact Research). Here they find the most important results from the following areas:

  • expected global and regional temperature change
  • sea level rise
  • sea water acidification
  • loss of sea – and land ice
  • heat waves and droughts
  • intensive rainfall events
  • Storms
  • agricultural yields
  • immigration of germs and germ carrying insects
  • interaction of effects and events

For many of these points, knowledge is of course still incomplete.

IMO the most important point is food production. Some predictions and problem there are:

  • A considerable reduction in cropland, especially in the tropics and subtropics.
  • A considerable change of natural ecosystems because of habitat shift of many plants – even habitat loss.
  • From temperature rise alone – without taking droughts and floods into account – a per hectar yield reduction ist to be expected in the hotter areas of the planet, in the order of magnitude of 10 to 20 %.
  • Add to this a sizeable increase in prevalence and length of droughts and floods.

Summarizing, the ability to feed themselves of people in hot areas will be put into question.

This said, we can expect a considerable improvement of education and organization, as well as agricultural intelligence, which can already be seen. Political stability will also probably grow in the long term, with setbacks though.

It is a twisted game we embark on: we win the prize while our descendants make the bets.


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