CAPE TOWN, South AfricaIf we don’t deal with climate change decisively, “what we’re talking about then is extended world war,” the eminent economist said.
His audience Saturday, small and elite, had been stranded here by bad weather and were talking climate. They couldn’t do much about the one, but the other was squarely in their hands. And so, Lord Nicholas Stern was telling them, was the potential for mass migrations setting off mass conflict.
“Somehow we have to explain to people just how worrying that is,” the British economic thinker said.
Understandings will be vital in this “year of climate,” as the world’s nations and their negotiators count down toward a U.N. climate conference in Copenhagen in December, target date for concluding a grand new deal to replace the Kyoto Protocol – the 1997 agreement, expiring in 2012, to reduce carbon dioxide and other global-warming emissions by industrial nations.
Solheim drew together key players for the planned brief visit to Norway’s Troll Research Station in East Antarctica.
It would “transform where people can live,” Stern said. “People would move on a massive scale. Hundreds of millions, probably billions of people would have to move if you talk about 4-, 5-, 6-degree increases” – 7 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit. And that would mean extended global conflict, “because there’s no way the world can handle that kind of population move in the time period in which it would take place.”
MOSCOW – Russia will likely see more forest fires, droughts and floods in the coming century due to global warming, and policy makers need to prepare for large-scale change, scientists warned in a report released Wednesday.
It also said Russia, famous for its brutal winters, will benefit from climate change in some ways, with warmer temperatures and less snow and ice.
Growing evidence that global warming is shrinking polar ice, opening up new shipping lanes, already is generating competition between Russia and other nations over the Arctic’s natural resources.
LIMA, Peru – Global climate change threatens the complete disappearance of the Andes’ tropical glaciers within the next 20 years, putting precious water, energy and food sources at risk, according to a World Bank report presented here Tuesday.
The study says glacial retreat has already reduced by 12 percent the water supply to Peru’s dry coastline, home to 60 percent of the country’s population.
“In Peru, (the glaciers) are melting very quickly. More than 20 percent of the glacial ice caps have disappeared since the 1970s,” World Bank climate change specialist Walter Vergara told reporters in the capital, Lima.