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Climate & Energy Editor
Climate & Energy Editor
In more than 25 years, three billion people may live in areas seen as “hotspots” of global warming. This will be twice as much as it is now, because the population has doubled by 2050. There are also hard limits to people’s possibilities to adapt if global warming continues. All of this is evident from a report presented at the Climate Summit in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.
Regions that qualify as hotspots are located primarily in Central America, the Middle East, and parts of Africa and Asia. Hotspots refer to areas most sensitive to the hazardous conditions associated with climate change. In the most vulnerable countries, the death rate is about 15 times higher than in regions least affected by warming.
This is due, for example, to the frequent occurrence of floods, severe droughts and storms. This could lead to the expulsion of millions of people from their homes and territories. In the ReportIt lists the ten most important climate insights that have emerged from the research, to which dozens of scientists have contributed.
The fight against climate change always includes two components: on the one hand, greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced, and on the other hand, countries will have to adapt to the changes that will occur anyway. It is sometimes thought that the second is more important than the first, because there are many possibilities for adaptation. But the report does not ignore this idea.
“We have reached a point where adaptation to climate change cannot replace emissions reductions,” said Johann Rockström, director of the German Potsdam Institute, while presenting the report. According to him, there is frustration among scientists that the approach to climate change is proceeding too slowly.
The report states that “people have a remarkable ability to adapt”. But as the planet continues to warm, there will be more and more unbearable consequences that can no longer be adapted to. In other words, there are difficult limits to adjustment. These occur when the heat becomes too extreme for the human body or when coastal communities are overwhelmed by sea level rise.
This Climate Summit is mainly about crafting and actually implementing agreements reached earlier. Although climate scientists actually play a secondary role in this during the conference, because their work serves as a basis for negotiations between nations, there should be a closer relationship between politics and science, Rockstrom believes.
The report also establishes a clear link between climate change and human health. On every continent there is more death due to heat. Due to rising temperatures and droughts, forest fires are also increasing, which also affects health. Infectious diseases may also increase as a result of global warming.
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