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If in the next two decades the international

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Unformatted text preview: ogical systems. Around one-half of the world’s coral reef systems have suffered ‘bleaching’ as a result of warming seas . Increasing acidity in the oceans is another long-term threat to marine ecosystems. Ice-based ecologies have also suffered devastating climate change impacts, especially in the Arctic region. While some animal and plant species will adapt, for many species the pace of climate change is too rapid: climate systems are moving more rapidly than they can follow . W ith 3°C of warming, 20–30 percent of land species could face extinction. Climate’s impact on development irreversible None of these five separate drivers will operate in isolation. They will interact with wider social, economic and ecological processes that shape opportunities for human development. Inevitably, the precise mix of transmission mechanisms from climate change to human development will vary across and within countries. Large areas of uncertainty remain. What is certain is that dangerous climate change has the potential to deliver powerful systemic shocks to human development across a large group of countries. In contrast to economic shocks that affect growth or inflation, many of the human development impacts—lost opportunities for health and education, diminished productive potential, loss of vital ecological systems, for example—are likely to prove irreversible. [____] Hundreds of millions of people threatened by rapidly changing climates Catherine Mitchell, Professor of Energy Policy, University of Exeter, 2008 (The Political Economy of Sustainable Energy, p. 199) As the Stern Review stated: “Climate change will affect the basic elements of life for people around the world, access to water, food production, health and the environment. Hundreds of millions of people could suffer hunger, water shortages and coastal flooding as the world warms”, and around 15-40% of species face extinction with 2 degrees C of warming. 13 | P a g e High Speed Rail Affirmative BDL Answers to: Climate Change is Too Fast [____] [____] If we act now we can prevent climate change in time German Advisory Council on Global Change, 2008, CLIMATE CHANGE AS A SECURITY RISK, http://www.wbgu.de/wbgu_jg2007_engl.pdf A narrow window of opportunity for climate policy the first of WBGU’s findings offers a major opportunity, but also presents a considerable challenge to policy-makers. Global climate change is a gradual process which, so far, has not posed any serious risks to human security. It is only likely to impact severely on international security in the medium to long term. If in the next two decades, the international community is successful, through effective climate policy, in setting a course towards an emissions pathway that makes compliance with the 2 °C guard rail possible, such climate-induced conflicts can probably be avoided. However, any delay in setting this course towards a reversal of global emissions trends will mean that even higher emissions reduction rates will...
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This document was uploaded on 02/06/2014.

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