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World Bank: 'Extreme Weather' is the New Norm

Nov 24, 2014 02:24 PM EST
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Mirroring the sentiments of countless climatologists and past studies, the World Bank has released a new report that details how increasing "extreme weather" is unavoidable in the wake of climate change. According to the report, this extreme weather will still increase in prevalence despite international efforts to mitigate the causes of this change.

The World Bank certainly isn't the first organization to acknowledge the inevitability of a drastic change in weather patterns. Numerous studies have highlighted how countless regions are facing increased chances of drought or monsoon rains, throwing off local communities and ecosystems.

Additionally, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) recently called for an update of the definition of "normal" weather. They even proposed that the frequency of these updates should be cut down to every 10 years, rather than the traditional three decades, in order to keep up with our climate's rapid rate of change.

Now, with the World Bank echoing these sentiments, it's hard to argue that the world isn't changing.

"Today's report confirms what scientists have been saying - past emissions have set an unavoidable course of warming over the next two decades, which will affect the world's poorest and most vulnerable people the most," World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said in a recent statement.  "We cannot continue down the current path of unchecked, growing emissions."

The report, Turn Down the Heat: Confronting the New Climate Normal, is the third in a series of reports commissioned by the World Bank Group from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Climate Analytics. These reports take a close look on how climate change has and will affect the world economy and what world governments can do to mitigate loss.

In particular, it warns that as temperatures rise, heat extremes on par with the heat waves in the United States in 2012 and Russia in 2010 will become more common. And despite efforts by world powers to cut emissions, powerful greenhouse gases will still drive warming in a dangerous loop, where melting ice and permafrost will release more of these gases.

However, the report details how accepting that these changes are upon us and cannot be stopped can actually help the world adapt and protect its economic interest. Learning to take action proactively could even prevent more change and damage in the far future.

"The good news is that there is a growing consensus on what it will take to make changes to the unsustainable path we are currently on," President Kim said. "Action on climate change does not have to come at the expense of economic growth."

For more great nature science stories and general news, please visit our sister site, Headlines and Global News (HNGN).

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