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Impacts

Rising global temperatures

An average 1 C temperature rise has already been observed since the start of the industrial era (ca 1750), and if this trend is continued, irreversible changes in climate could occur. Based on existing scientific evidence, the European Union has decided that it is essential to limit the average global temperature rise to less than 2 C.

Whilst an average temperature rise of 2 C might not seem a lot, the fact is that such temperature rises are not uniformly distributed throughout the globe. Polar regions have experienced much higher temperature rises leading to concerns about melting ice sheets, rising sea levels and changes in the circulation of ocean currents particularly in the Arctic region. The scientific evidence suggests that to prevent a higher temperature rise the world should stabilise its output of greenhouse gases by 2015 and subsequently reduce the output of such gases by 50% by 2050
[link to climate science]

Extreme weather conditions

Other predictions of climate models suggest more extreme weather conditions – these include tropical storms, extreme heat and cold, flooding and droughts. Such events have occurred with increasing frequency in the past decade with loss of lives, crops and livestock.

Shifts in rainfall

An equal concern is possible shifts in rainfall (precipitation) in sub-arid areas like the Sahel area if Africa which may require inhabitants to migrate to other areas which are already inhabited. In previous eras when the climate changed, migration was possible because there was a small global population.

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