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practice UK: OECD welcomes UK government climate change map

UK: OECD welcomes UK government climate change map

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Posting Date
29 October 2009
Last Edited Date
29 October 2009
United Kingdom
Submitted By
ePractice Editorial Team (EUROPEAN DYNAMICS SA) | Belgium

In October 2009 a new map was presented to OECD Secretary-General, Angel Gurría, by the British Ambassador to the OECD, Dominic Martin. The map aims to illustrate graphically the devastating effects of the climate change.

It was produced by UK government's Meteorological Office ahead of the crucial UN climate change talks in Copenhagen in December. Widespread drought, falling agricultural production and rising sea levels are all outlined in the new map which describes the impacts that may occur from region to region, if the global average temperature rises by 4 °C (7 °F) above the pre-industrial climate average. The impacts shown on the map are only a selection of the possible occurrences focused primarily on the effect of climate change on human activity.

According to OECD analysis, unless action is taken, global greenhouse gas emissions will rise by about 70% between now and 2050, and by 2100 there could be 4-6 °C global mean increase in temperatures above pre-industrial levels. The map shows that, for instance, as the Himalayan glaciers melt, 23% of the population of China could be deprived of the vital dry season glacial melt water by 2050. It also explains that an estimated mean sea-level rise of 53 cm by 2075 would result in floods affecting an additional 150 million people, with Asia being particularly badly hit.

The map allows the users to select which impacts they want to see, zoom on specific geographies and access more information about the science behind the map. The projection was generated using Met Office Hadley Centre's HadCM3 model. To create the map the model was run many times, for two different greenhouse gas emission scenarios.

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