Rising Extreme Weather Events ‘Very Likely’ Linked to Global Warming
A new report from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change confirms what we all kinda sorta already knew: climate change is increasing the intensity of extreme weather events. Here are some of the specific findings:
— It is likely that the frequency of heavy precipitation will increase in the 21st century over many regions.
— It is virtually certain that increases in the frequency of warm daily temperature extremes and decreases
in cold extremes will occur throughout the 21st century on a global scale. It is very likely—90 per cent to 100 per cent probability—that heat waves will increase in length, frequency, and/or intensity over
most land areas.
—It is likely that the average maximum wind speed of tropical cyclones (also known as typhoons or hurricanes) will increase throughout the coming century, although possibly not in every ocean basin. However it is also likely—in other words there is a 66 per cent to 100 per cent probability—that overall
there will be either a decrease or essentially no change in the number of tropical cyclones.
—There is evidence, providing a basis for medium confidence, that droughts will intensify over the coming century in southern Europe and the Mediterranean region, central Europe, central North America, Central America and Mexico, northeast Brazil, and southern Africa.
Global Asylum Claims in Industrialized Nations rose by 20% in 2011,
That is from the UN Refugee Agency, which says the rise in asylum claims is largely due to the conflict in Afghanistan and uprisings in the Arab world. “UNHCR’s report, ‘Asylum Levels and Trends in Industrialized Countries 2011,’ says that an estimated 441,300 asylum claims were recorded last year compared to 368,000 in 2010. The report covers 44 countries in Europe, North America, Australasia and north-east Asia. In relative terms, the largest increase was in southern Europe, which saw 66,800 asylum claims – a jump of 87 per cent. Most of these claims were from people who arrived by boat in Italy and Malta, but with a sharp increase also seen in Turkey. ‘The large number of asylum claims clearly shows 2011 to have been a year of great difficulty for very many people. We can be thankful only that throughout this the international system of asylum has held firm,’ said UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres. ‘Still, it is important to put these figures in perspective. The number of asylum claims received across all industrialized countries is still smaller than the population of Dadaab, a single refugee camp in north-east Kenya,’ he added, referring to a camp complex for Somali refugees. (UNHCR http://bit.ly/HfL0UA)