Killer facts on climate change

  • The global warming that has occurred since the 1970s caused over 140,000 excess deaths annually by the year 2004.[1]
  • In our children’s lifetimes, climate change is likely to double the frequency of extreme droughts and make them last six times as long. [2]
  • Global warming could expose an additional 2 billion people to the risk of dengue fever by the 2080s. [3]
  • Drought frequency in parts of New Zealand could double – or even triple – by 2040.[4]
  • There are likely to be 25 million more malnourished children under the age of five in 2050 due to climate change – that’s the equivalent of all the children under five in the US and Canada combined.[5]
  • Developing countries are only getting around US$35-49 billion a year in aid to adapt to climate change. Government subsidies for fossil fuels are US$331 billion a year, around eight times as much.[6]
  • 80 per cent of the agriculture worldwide, and 96 per cent in sub-Saharan Africa, is rain-fed, putting it at the mercy of changing weather patterns and intensity.[7]
  • Deforestation accounts for up to 20 per cent of global emissions.[8]
  • With just a one metre sea level rise, 80 per cent of the land of Majuro atoll in the Marshall Islands would be at risk. Around 30,000 people live on the atoll. That’s more than half the population of Rotorua.[9]
  • Temperatures are expected to increase more than 2.5°C on average by 2070 in Papua New Guinea, the  Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste and Vanuatu.[10]
  • Crop yields are expected to drop across the Pacific. The biggest decline is expected in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, where the staple sweet potato crop could halve by 2050. [11]


[1] WHO Climate Change and Health. Factsheet no. 266. 2013. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs266/en/

 

[2] WHO Climate Change and Health. Factsheet no. 266. 2013. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs266/en/

 

[3] WHO Climate Change and Health. Factsheet no. 266. 2013. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs266/en/

 

[4] NZ Agriculture Research Centre. Impacts of global climate change on New Zealand Agriculture. 2012. http://www.nzagrc.org.nz/fact-sheets.html

 

[5] International Food Policy Research Institute. Climate Change: Impact on Agriculture and Costs of Adaptation. 2009.

http://www.ifpri.org/sites/default/files/publications/pr21.pdf

Data for under-five populations of USA and Canada from Unicef - http://www.unicef.org/statistics/index_24183.html

 

[6] IPCC. Fifth Assessment Report, Working Group III Report “Mitigation of Climate Change”. Summary for Policymakers. 2014.

https://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/wg3/ipcc_wg3_ar5_summary-for-policymakers.pdf

IMF. Energy Subsidy Reform: Lessons and Implications. 2013.

http://www.imf.org/external/np/pp/eng/2013/012813.pdf

 

[7] Asha latha K. V., Munisamy Gopinath, and A. R. S. Bhat. Impact of Climate Change on Rainfed Agriculture in India: A Case Study of Dharwad. International Journal of Environmental Science and Development, Vol. 3, No. 4. 2012.

http://www.ijesd.org/papers/249-CD0059.pdf

World Bank. Rainfed agriculture. 2014.

http://water.worldbank.org/topics/agricultural-water-management/rainfed-agriculture

 

[8] IPCC. Fourth Assessment Report, Working Group I Report "The Physical Science Basis" (Section 7.3.3.1.5 (p. 527)). 2007.

G.R. van der Werf, D.C.Morton, R.S. DeFries, J.G.J. Olivier, P.S. Kasibhatla, R.B. Jackson, G.J. Collatz and J.T. Randerson. CO2 emissions from forest loss. Nature Geoscience 2(11): 737–738. 2009.

 

[9] IFAD/Global Mechanism. Climate change impacts – Pacific Islands. 2009.

http://www.ifad.org/events/apr09/impact/islands.pdf

 

[10] Asian Development Bank. The Economics of Climate Change in the Pacific. 2013.

 

[11] Asian Development Bank. The Economics of Climate Change in the Pacific. 2013.