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Asia-Pacific Faces Global Warming Disaster

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  • Pat Neuman
    Asia-Pacific Faces Global Warming Disaster Preston said two studies contained in the report estimate that a sea- level rise of a metre (39 inches) would
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 10, 2006
      Asia-Pacific Faces Global Warming Disaster

      Preston said two studies contained in the report estimate that a sea-
      level rise of a metre (39 inches) would displace between 75 million
      and 150 million people in the Asia-Pacific region. Photo courtesy of
      AFP.
      by Lawrence Bartlett
      Sydney (AFP) Oct 10, 2006
      Millions of people in the Asia-Pacific region could be forced from
      their homes and suffer increasing disease, cyclones and floods
      caused by global warming, scientists warned Monday. Climate change
      will seriously threaten regional human security and national
      economies this century, according to a report by the Australian
      government's Commonwealth Scientific and Research Organisation
      (CSIRO).
      "Chronic food and water insecurity and epidemic disease may impede
      economic development in some nations," the report says.

      "Degraded landscapes and inundation of populated areas by rising
      seas may ultimately displace millions of individuals, forcing intra-
      and inter-state migration."

      The report, commissioned by a coalition of environmental, aid,
      church and development groups, analyses predictions of temperature
      increases of up to two degrees Celsius by 2030 and up to seven
      degrees by 2070.

      Scientists blame global warming on greenhouse gases such as carbon
      dioxide, produced mainly by the burning of fossil fuels including
      coal and oil, for causing rising temperatures worldwide.

      "Rapid growth in large regional economies such as China and India
      has elevated human prosperity," the report says.

      "However, unless ultimately decoupled from fossil-fuel use, such
      growth also threatens to exacerbate the climate challenge."

      The CSIRO says that remaining below the generally accepted threshold
      for "dangerous" climate change of about two degrees Celsius would
      require global greenhouse gas emissions to be reduced by 30-55
      percent below 1990 levels.

      "If you don't, if you did nothing, you're likely to blow right past
      it," Benjamin Preston, key author of the report, told AFP.

      Temperatures are likely to rise more quickly in the arid areas of
      northern Pakistan and India and western China, the report says.

      But the region will also be affected by a rise in the global sea
      level of up to 16 centimetres (six inches) by 2030 and by up to 50
      centimetres in 2070, along with regional variables.

      Preston said two studies contained in the report estimate that a sea-
      level rise of a metre (39 inches) would displace between 75 million
      and 150 million people in the Asia-Pacific region.

      Most at risk are the low-lying river deltas of Bangladesh, India,
      Vietnam and China, as well as the small Pacific island states.

      Changing patterns of temperature and rainfall would also cause a
      shift in the distribution of dengue and malaria-carrying mosquitoes,
      likely exposing millions more people to such diseases by the end of
      the century.

      "Higher temperatures may reduce the risk of cold-weather mortality,
      but increase heat-related mortality, while increased flooding and
      intensification of tropical cyclones would increase climate-related
      injuries and deaths," the report says.

      The aid groups that commissioned the report said it was a wake-up
      call for Australia, one of the world's worst polluters on a per-
      capita basis.

      "Climate change will fundamentally change the way we aid the world's
      poor," said World Vision Australia chief executive Tim Costello.

      "It will undermine the value and impact of current aid spending and
      will lead to far greater calls for assistance from those hurt most."

      Environmental and rights activists also called on the government to
      prepare to accept environmental refugees fleeing small Pacific
      island states hit by rising sea levels.


      Source: Agence France-Presse
      http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Asia_Pacific_Faces_Global_Warming_D
      isaster_999.html
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