Nov. 19, 2012 (Bloomberg) -- The globe risks “cataclysmic changes” caused by extreme heatwaves, rising seas and depleted food stocks as it heads toward global warming of 4 degrees Celsius this century, according to a World Bank report.
Current national pledges to reduce greenhouse gases won’t do much to change the current trajectory of temperatures, which are set to rise by about double the United Nations target of 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) by 2100, the scientific study e-mailed by the World Bank shows today.
That level of warming threatens to cause sea levels to rise by a meter (3 feet) or more by 2100, flooding cities in nations from Mexico toMozambique and the Philippines, according to the study. It could also start dissolving coral reefs from 2060, deplete crop yields in India, the U.S. and Australia, and exacerbate heatwaves worldwide.
“A 4-degree Celsius (warmer) world is so different from the current one that it comes with high uncertainty and new risks that threaten our ability to anticipate and plan for future adaptation needs,” World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said in the report. It “can, and must, be avoided.”