Looking at Climate Change in the 2080s

Stopping human-made greenhouse gas emissions by 2060 will not prevent climate. In fact, by the 2080s, it will likely have resulted in the equivalent of half the world's cropland being destroyed as well as sea levels rising by nearly one metre.

2080 – World Continues to Get Warmer

Despite the world stopping all human-made emissions in 2060, changes to the planet's natural carbon cycle have resulted in atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide equivalent increasing to as much as 880 ppm.1 That is three times greater than they were at the start of the industrial revolution.2 As a result, average global temperatures have risen by some 3.8°C above pre-industrial levels.3 What's more, as our planet's natural carbon cycle continues to release more greenhouse gas, things are only going to get hotter.
Newly Formed Desert Land in Northern Italy4

2081 – The World Goes Hungry!

A combination of rising global temperatures and land degradation has resulted in the equivalent of some 50% of the world's cropland being destroyed.5 As a result, more than five billion people are now suffering from chronic malnutrition,6 with an estimated 45 million people dying every year due to famine.7 Tragically, the number of deaths is only going to increase. With some 20 million hectares of cropland being lost every year due to degradation,8 scientists have calculated the equivalent of three-quarters of the world's cropland could disappear in as little as 20 years.9 As a result, world leaders are now faced with an impossible choice - do they send global temperatures spiralling out of control by cutting down the half the world's forests to make way for new farmland, or do they adopt more sustainable farming techniques and let half the world's population starve to death? Whichever choice they make, the consequences are going to be unimaginably tragic.
Billions Have Been Left to Starve as the World’s Cropland is Decimated

2082 – Oceans Consume Bangladesh

Bangladesh is in turmoil as a combination of rising sea levels, raging cyclones and a sinking landmass has left much of the country beneath the ocean.10 More than 20% is now permanently submerged with a further 70% flooded as a result of storm surges.11 With Bangladesh having a population of more than 200 million people, the impact has been devastating.12 Some 200,000 people have already lost their lives with an estimated 22 million left homeless.13 Additionally, nearly all of the country's farmland has been destroyed,14 much of the water supply has been contaminated,15 and the country is being overwhelmed by a series of malaria outbreaks as the newly formed wetlands form the perfect habitat for mosquitos.16 Scientists explain that Bangladesh has been particularly susceptible to sea-level rise because the nation is slowly sinking of the loose soil that makes up the ground slowly compacts.17 Historically, this was offset by huge amounts of sediment that naturally flowed into the country via a network of over 700 rivers.18 However, the neighbouring countries have now diverted much of this water and as result parts of Bangladesh are sinking by as much as one metre per century.19 Sadly, with twenty-metre sea levels now locked in over the coming millennia, it is only a matter of time until the entire nation is washed away.20
Millions Left Stranded by Rising Sea Levels in Bangladesh

2083 – Bogs Cause Carbon Emissions to Soar

Scientists have released a report today detailing how greenhouse gas emissions are now spiralling out of control.21 They explain that the rising temperatures in the Arctic are causing frozen soils which contain over 1.7 trillion tonnes of carbon to thaw.22 Consequently, the amount of carbon dioxide equivalent in the atmosphere has jumped by some 60 ppm over the last 30 years with a further jump of 220 ppm anticipated over the next two centuries.23 The consequences of this are catastrophic. Global temperatures are now going to rise by more than 4°C before 2100 with even greater rises expected over the next century.24 On top of this, the continued release of carbon from our soils means that temperatures will further increase over the coming centuries even though all human-made greenhouse gas emissions have stopped. As a result, we had all better fasten our seat belts as are now locked in for a near-apocalyptic future.
Thawing Arctic Soils

2085 – Sea Levels Rise by One Metre

Measuring Sea Level Rises in the Pacific
Scientists have released a report today detailing how greenhouse gas emissions are now spiralling out of control.25 They explain that the rising temperatures in the Arctic are causing frozen soils which contain over 1.7 trillion tonnes of carbon to thaw.26 Consequently, the amount of carbon dioxide equivalent in the atmosphere has jumped by some 60 ppm over the last 30 years with a further jump of 220 ppm anticipated over the next two centuries.27 The consequences of this are catastrophic. Global temperatures are now going to rise by more than 4°C before 2100 with even greater rises expected over the next century.28 On top of this, the continued release of carbon from our soils means that temperatures will further increase over the coming centuries even though all human-made greenhouse gas emissions have stopped. As a result, we had all better fasten our seat belts as are now locked in for a near-apocalyptic future.

2087 – Super Storms Strike Europe!

Europe is being overwhelmed by a series of massive superstorms that have touched down on the continent.29 With wind speeds reaching over 270 kilometres per hour the coastal cities of Valencia, Barcelona, Marseille, Naples and Porto have all been left in turmoil.30 Thousands have been left dead,31 with more than a million rendered homeless.32 The weather has also caused the closure of nearly all public transport systems, and the destruction of power lines has left entire countries without electricity.33 Governments are predicting it will take weeks before power can be resumed. Initial costs from the damages are in the region of $270 billion.34 Climatologists blame the superstorms on the rise in average global temperatures. They explain that this has caused ocean surface temperatures in the Mediterranean to rise above 25.5°C, the temperature required to initiate a superstorm.35 Worryingly, this means as global average temperatures continue to rise, the number of superstorms will increase.36 In Europe, few cities have been constructed to cope with such intense storms, and as a result, unprecedented levels of damage are projected for the coming decades.
Valencia Hit by Unprecedented Super Storms

2088 – Snow Covers the States

Monster blizzards have hit the USA affecting some 24 states and effectively trapping more than 100 million people in their homes.37 The snowstorms have been so severe that major cities including Washington, New York and Chicago have been completely shut down.38 This includes offices, restaurants, shops and supermarkets, leaving many people to live off what little food they have left at their home. Worst affected is the North East, where winds in excess of 130 kilometres per hour have produced snowdrifts 15 metres high.39 All East Coast airports have now been closed with more than half of all American flights cancelled.40 Over one hundred people have now lost their lives, in many cases, frozen to death due to being stranded in their cars.41 Many more have been affected by collapsing roofs, while millions of homes and businesses have been left without heat and electricity due to damage to pylons and substations.42 So far, the storms have lasted for some two days, with forecasters predicting another two days before the storms begin to subside.43 A further week will then be required to clear all the snow.44 Surprisingly, despite climate change, scientists inform us blizzards of this nature are likely to become even more powerful as temperatures continue to rise.45 Scientists explain that blizzards are formed as the cold arctic winds blow across the warmer Atlantic Ocean, turning all the moisture in the atmosphere into snow.46 Unfortunately though, as the surface temperature of the ocean rises, more moisture is held in the air, leading to even greater densities of snow landing.47 As a result, scientists advise the American public to brace themselves for even more snow over the coming decades.
Looking Down on a Snow-Covered New York

Climate Change in the 2090s

The damage caused by climate change does not stop with super storms in Europe and blizzards in the States! Find out what disasters our emissions will likely cause in the next decade by selecting the link below. Alternatively, find out how we can stop climate change by returning to the main menu.

Image Credits

Image of cracked earth taken by Sean Loyless, released on Flickr and reproduced under Creative Commons license CC BY 2.0.

Image of multiple hands grasping food taken by Jasmin Merdan and reproduced under license from Adobe Stock. Minor modifications undertaken by SUPER RADICAL LTD.

Image of Bangladesh flooded taken by Asianet-Pakistan and reproduced under license from Shutterstock. Minor modifications undertaken by SUPER RADICAL LTD.

Image of thawing soils taken by Richard Webb, released on Wikimedia Commons and reproduced under Creative Commons license CC BY-SA 2.0. Minor modifications undertaken by SUPER RADICAL LTD.

Image of rising sea levels taken by Silvia Bogdanski and reproduced under license from Shutterstock. Minor modifications undertaken by SUPER RADICAL LTD.

Image of superstorm hitting Valencia created by SUPER RADICAL LTD. City underlay taken by steftach and reproduced under license from Adobe Stock. Sky underlay taken by John Kerstholt, released on Wikimedia Commons and reproduced under Creative Commons license CC BY-SA 3.0. Lightning overlay taken by Adel Al-Omrani, released on Flickr and reproduced under Creative Commons license CC BY-SA 2.0.

Image of snow-covered New York created by 4Max and reproduced under license from Adobe Stock. Minor modifications undertaken by SUPER RADICAL LTD.

General Notes

Barrels of oil equivalent is based on 1628.2 kWh of energy being contained within each barrel. Data sourced from Unit Juggler – 'Converter: Barrel of Oil Equivalent to Kilowatt-Hour' – unitjuggler.com.

The volume of one tonne of carbon dioxide is equivalent to 556.2 cubic metres. Sourced from International Carbon Bank and Exchange – 'CO2 Volume Calculation' – www.icbe.com.

For further information about any of the sources listed, please visit the ZERO EMISSION WORLD Works Cited page.

Article Endnotes

  1. Based on human-made greenhouse gas emissions increasing at the current rate until 2060, stopping by 2070 and the resulting emissions from the terrestrial biosphere and thawing permafrost being roughly equivalent to Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5. Atmospheric concentrations include all forcing agents and sourced from RCP Data Comparison – 'RCP Database' – www.iiasa.ac.at. Terrestrial biosphere emissions sourced from Cox et al. – 'Acceleration of Global Warming Due to Carbon-Cycle Feedbacks in a Coupled Climate Model' – Pages 184 to 187. Thawing permafrost emissions based on Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5 and sourced from MacDougall et al. – 'Significant Contribution to Climate Warming from the Permafrost Carbon Feedback' – Pages 719 to 721.
  2. Based on pre-industrial atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide being 285 ppm. Sourced from RCP Data Comparison – 'RCP Database' – www.iiasa.ac.at.
  3. Based on human-made greenhouse gas emissions increasing at the current rate until 2060, stopping by 2070 and the resulting emissions from the terrestrial biosphere and thawing permafrost being roughly equivalent to Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5. Terrestrial biosphere emissions sourced from Cox et al. – 'Acceleration of Global Warming Due to Carbon-Cycle Feedbacks in a Coupled Climate Model' – Pages 184 to 187. Thawing permafrost emissions based on Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5 and sourced from MacDougall et al. – 'Significant Contribution to Climate Warming from the Permafrost Carbon Feedback' – Pages 719 to 721. Projected temperature rise based on a rise over pre-industrial levels and sourced from Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – 'Climate Change 2014: Synthesis Report' – Pages 10 to 11.
  4. Based on map data showing areas of land projected to change from non-desert to desert by 2070 to 2099 if atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide equivalent exceed 850 ppm and atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide equivalent likely exceeding 1,000 ppm by the end of the century if human-made greenhouse gas emissions increase at the current rate until 2060 and stop by 2070. Projection assumes human-made emissions result in the terrestrial biosphere and thawing permafrost soil releasing a further 351 ppm of carbon dioxide equivalent into the atmosphere by 2100. Desert expansion sourced from Zeng, Ning and Yoon, Jinho – ‘Expansion of the World’s Deserts Due to Vegetation-Albedo Feedback Under Global Warming’ – Figure 2. Terrestrial biosphere emissions sourced from Cox et al. – ‘Acceleration of Global Warming Due to Carbon-Cycle Feedbacks in a Coupled Climate Model’ – Pages 184 to 187. Thawing permafrost emissions based on Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5 and sourced from MacDougall et al. – ‘Significant Contribution to Climate Warming from the Permafrost Carbon Feedback’ – Pages 719 to 721.
  5. Loose estimate calculated within the 'World in 2100' section of the 'ZERO EMISSION WORLD Energy Database' and based on no significant change to our current diets. Estimate based on there being 1.56 billion hectares of cropland in 2007, a potential 1.41 billion hectares of additional cropland being available, 50% of additional cropland being used, cereal demand increasing from 2.1 billion tonnes in 2007 to 3.2 billion tonnes in 2080, average global temperatures likely rising by around 2.4°C between 2010 and 2080, grain yields decreasing by 15% for each 1°C rise in growing season temperature, 10 million hectares of cropland being lost to degradation each year, 10 million hectares of land being lost due to salinisation each year, grain yields increasing by around 31.7% for each 100 ppm increase in atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide up until around 500 ppm and grain yields further increasing by 1.69% each year until 2050 due to the adoption of new technologies and farming practices. Use of additional cropland an optimistic estimate based on the majority of potential cropland likely being pastures. Amount of cropland based on 2007 data and sourced from Alexandratos, Nikos and Bruinsma, Jelle – 'World Agriculture Towards 2030/2050: The 2012 Revision' – Page 11. Cereal demand sourced from Alexandratos, Nikos and Bruinsma, Jelle – 'World Agriculture Towards 2030/2050: The 2012 Revision' – Page 20. Projected temperature rise based on average global temperatures already rising by 0.9°C above pre-industrial levels and average global temperatures likely rising to more than 4°C above pre-industrial levels come 2100 if human-made greenhouse gas emissions increase at the current rate until 2060 and stop by 2070. Projection assumes human-made emissions result in the terrestrial biosphere and thawing permafrost soil releasing a further 351 ppm of carbon dioxide equivalent into the atmosphere by 2100. Rise of 0.9°C based on the rise in average global temperature recorded between 1880 and 2012. Sourced from Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – 'Climate Change 2007: Synthesis Report' – Page 2. Rise of 4°C based on Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5 and sourced from Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – 'Climate Change 2014: Synthesis Report' – Page 22. Terrestrial biosphere emissions sourced from Cox et al. – 'Acceleration of Global Warming Due to Carbon-Cycle Feedbacks in a Coupled Climate Model' – Pages 184 to 187. Thawing permafrost emissions based on Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5 and sourced from MacDougall et al. – 'Significant Contribution to Climate Warming from the Permafrost Carbon Feedback' – Pages 719 to 721. Yield losses due to rises in growing season temperature sourced from Peng et al. – 'Rice Yields Decline with Higher Night Temperature from Global Warming' – Pages 9,971 to 9,975. Loss of cropland due to land degradation and salinisation sourced from Pimentel, David – 'Agriculture and Food Problems' – Page 514. Yield gains as a result of higher concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere based on yield increases from grain grown in air that contains 500 micromoles of carbon dioxide per molecule compared to grain grown in air that contains 160 micromoles of carbon dioxide per molecule. Sourced from Baker et al. – 'Growth and Yield Responses of Rice to Carbon Dioxide Concentration' – Pages 313 to 320. Yield increases due to the adoption of new technologies and farming practices sourced from Global Harvest Initiative – '2014 Global Agricultural Productivity Report' – Page 10. It should be noted, 71% of our cropland is currently used to produce food for animals. Furthermore, pastures are often suitable for crop growth. As such, if the majority of the world's population become vegan, it is unlikely there would be any food shortages. Percentage of cropland used to produce food for livestock sourced from Carus, Michael and Raschka, Achim – 'Agricultural Resources for Bioplastics' – Page 45.
  6. Loose estimate based on 805 million people suffering from chronic malnutrition today, around 45% of crop production being lost come 2080 and a projected population increase of 3.4 billion people between 2010 and 2080. Number of people suffering from chronic malnutrition based on 2014 data and sourced from Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations – 'State of Food Insecurity in the World in Brief' – Page 8. Projected crop loss a loose estimate calculated within the 'World in 2100' section of the 'ZERO EMISSION WORLD Energy Database' and based on no significant change to our current diets. Estimate based on there being 1.56 billion hectares of cropland in 2007, a potential 1.41 billion hectares of additional cropland being available, 50% of additional cropland being used, cereal demand increasing from 2.1 billion tonnes in 2007 to 3.2 billion tonnes in 2080, average global temperatures likely rising by around 2.4°C between 2010 and 2080, grain yields decreasing by 15% for each 1°C rise in growing season temperature, 10 million hectares of cropland being lost to degradation each year, 10 million hectares of land being lost due to salinisation each year, grain yields increasing by around 31.7% for each 100 ppm increase in atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide up until around 500 ppm, and grain yields further increasing by 1.69% each year until 2050 due to the adoption of new technologies and farming practices. Use of additional cropland an optimistic estimate based on the majority of potential cropland likely being pastures. Amount of cropland based on 2007 data and sourced from Alexandratos, Nikos and Bruinsma, Jelle – 'World Agriculture Towards 2030/2050: The 2012 Revision' – Page 11. Cereal demand sourced from Alexandratos, Nikos and Bruinsma, Jelle – 'World Agriculture Towards 2030/2050: The 2012 Revision' – Page 20. Projected temperature rise based on average global temperatures already rising by 0.9°C above pre-industrial levels and average global temperatures likely rising to more than 4°C above pre-industrial levels come 2100 if human-made greenhouse gas emissions increase at the current rate until 2060 and stop by 2070. Projection assumes human-made emissions result in the terrestrial biosphere and thawing permafrost soil releasing a further 351 ppm of carbon dioxide equivalent into the atmosphere by 2100. Rise of 0.9°C based on the rise in average global temperature recorded between 1880 and 2012. Sourced from Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – 'Climate Change 2007: Synthesis Report' – Page 2. Rise of 4°C based on Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5 and sourced from Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – 'Climate Change 2014: Synthesis Report' – Page 22. Terrestrial biosphere emissions sourced from Cox et al. – 'Acceleration of Global Warming Due to Carbon-Cycle Feedbacks in a Coupled Climate Model' – Pages 184 to 187. Thawing permafrost emissions based on Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5 and sourced from MacDougall et al. – 'Significant Contribution to Climate Warming from the Permafrost Carbon Feedback' – Pages 719 to 721. Yield losses due to rises in growing season temperature sourced from Peng et al. – 'Rice Yields Decline with Higher Night Temperature from Global Warming' – Pages 9,971 to 9,975. Loss of cropland due to land degradation and salinisation sourced from Pimentel, David – 'Agriculture and Food Problems' – Page 514. Yield gains as a result of higher concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere based on yield increases from grain grown in air that contains 500 micromoles of carbon dioxide per molecule compared to grain grown in air that contains 160 micromoles of carbon dioxide per molecule. Sourced from Baker et al. – 'Growth and Yield Responses of Rice to Carbon Dioxide Concentration' – Pages 313 to 320. Yield increases due to the adoption of new technologies and farming practices sourced from Global Harvest Initiative – '2014 Global Agricultural Productivity Report' – Page 10. Increase in population calculated using data sourced from United Nations – 'World Population Prospects: The 2015 Revision, Key Findings and Advance Tables' – Page 1. It should be noted, 71% of our cropland is currently used to produce food for animals. Furthermore, pastures are often suitable for crop growth. As such, if the majority of the world's population become vegan, it is unlikely there would be any food shortages. Percentage of cropland used to produce food for livestock sourced from Carus, Michael and Raschka, Achim – 'Agricultural Resources for Bioplastics' – Page 45.
  7. Loose estimate based on someone currently losing their life every 3.6 seconds due to chronic malnutrition and that figure likely increasing five-fold due to a combination of projected reductions in crop availability and population increases. Number of people currently dying from chronic malnutrition sourced from Millennium Project – 'Fast Facts: The Faces of Poverty' – Page 1.
  8. Loss of cropland due to land degradation and salinisation based on current annual losses. Sourced from Pimentel, David – 'Agriculture and Food Problems' – Page 514.
  9. Loose estimate based on around 75% of crop production being lost by 2100. Figure calculated within the 'World in 2100' section of the 'ZERO EMISSION WORLD Energy Database'. Estimate based on there being 1.56 billion hectares of cropland in 2007, a potential 1.41 billion hectares of additional cropland being available, 50% of additional cropland being used, cereal demand increasing from 2.1 billion tonnes in 2007 to 3.2 billion tonnes in 2080, average global temperatures likely rising by around 2.4°C between 2010 and 2080, grain yields decreasing by 15% for each 1°C rise in growing season temperature, 10 million hectares of cropland being lost to degradation each year, 10 million hectares of land being lost due to salinisation each year, grain yields increasing by around 31.7% for each 100 ppm increase in atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide up until around 500 ppm, and grain yields further increasing by 1.69% each year until 2050 due to the adoption of new technologies and farming practices. Use of additional cropland an optimistic estimate based on the majority of potential cropland likely being pastures. Amount of cropland based on 2007 data and sourced from Alexandratos, Nikos and Bruinsma, Jelle – 'World Agriculture Towards 2030/2050: The 2012 Revision' – Page 11. Cereal demand sourced from Alexandratos, Nikos and Bruinsma, Jelle – 'World Agriculture Towards 2030/2050: The 2012 Revision' – Page 20. Projected temperature rise based on average global temperatures already rising by 0.9°C above pre-industrial levels and average global temperatures likely rising to more than 4°C above pre-industrial levels come 2100 if human-made greenhouse gas emissions increase at the current rate until 2060 and stop by 2070. Projection assumes human-made emissions result in the terrestrial biosphere and thawing permafrost soil releasing a further 351 ppm of carbon dioxide equivalent into the atmosphere by 2100. Rise of 0.9°C based on the rise in average global temperature recorded between 1880 and 2012. Sourced from Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – 'Climate Change 2007: Synthesis Report' – Page 2. Rise of 4°C based on Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5 and sourced from Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – 'Climate Change 2014: Synthesis Report' – Page 22. Terrestrial biosphere emissions sourced from Cox et al. – 'Acceleration of Global Warming Due to Carbon-Cycle Feedbacks in a Coupled Climate Model' – Pages 184 to 187. Thawing permafrost emissions based on Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5 and sourced from MacDougall et al. – 'Significant Contribution to Climate Warming from the Permafrost Carbon Feedback' – Pages 719 to 721. Yield losses due to rises in growing season temperature sourced from Peng et al. – 'Rice Yields Decline with Higher Night Temperature from Global Warming' – Pages 9,971 to 9,975. Loss of cropland due to land degradation and salinisation sourced from Pimentel, David – 'Agriculture and Food Problems' – Page 514. Yield gains as a result of higher concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere based on yield increases from grain grown in air that contains 500 micromoles of carbon dioxide per molecule compared to grain grown in air that contains 160 micromoles of carbon dioxide per molecule. Sourced from Baker et al. – 'Growth and Yield Responses of Rice to Carbon Dioxide Concentration' – Pages 313 to 320. Yield increases due to the adoption of new technologies and farming practices sourced from Global Harvest Initiative – '2014 Global Agricultural Productivity Report' – Page 10. It should be noted, 71% of our cropland is currently used to produce food for animals. Furthermore, pastures are often suitable for crop growth. As such, if the majority of the world's population become vegan, it is unlikely there would be any food shortages. Percentage of cropland used to produce food for livestock sourced from Carus, Michael and Raschka, Achim – 'Agricultural Resources for Bioplastics' – Page 45.
  10. Rising sea levels based on projections of a likely average rise of 1.5 metres by the end of the century if human-made greenhouse gas emissions increase at the current rate until 2060 and stop by 2070. Projection assumes human-made emissions result in the terrestrial biosphere and thawing permafrost soil releasing a further 351 ppm of carbon dioxide equivalent into the atmosphere by 2100. Projected sea-level rise sourced from Horton et al. – 'Expert Assessment of Sea-Level Rise by AD 2100 and AD 2300' – Pages 1 to 5. Terrestrial biosphere emissions sourced from Cox et al. – 'Acceleration of Global Warming Due to Carbon-Cycle Feedbacks in a Coupled Climate Model' – Pages 184 to 187. Thawing permafrost emissions based on Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5 and sourced from MacDougall et al. – 'Significant Contribution to Climate Warming from the Permafrost Carbon Feedback' – Pages 719 to 721. Raging cyclones based on Bangladesh already being typically struck by a cyclone every three years and projections that there will be fewer tropical cyclones, but also an increase in average cyclone intensity, precipitation rates and the number of very intense category 4 and 5 storms if atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide equivalent exceed 580 ppm and atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide likely increasing to 585 ppm come 2045 if human-made emissions continue to increase at the current rate. Number of cyclones already experienced by Bangladesh sourced Dasgupta et al. – 'Cyclones in a Changing Climate: The Case of Bangladesh' – Page 1. Changes to cyclone frequency and intensity sourced from Knutson et al. – 'Global Projections of Intense Tropical Cyclone Activity for the Late Twenty-First Century from Dynamical Downscaling of CMIP5/RCP4.5 Scenarios' – Pages 7,203 to 7,224. Atmospheric concentrations increase based on Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5, including all forcing agents, and sourced from RCP Data Comparison – 'RCP Database' – www.iiasa.ac.at. Sinking landmass based on relative sea-level rises for the Ganges–Brahmaputra delta of between 8 and 18 millimetres per year even if sea levels rise by around 7 millimetres per year. Relative sea-level rise within the Ganges–Brahmaputra delta sourced from Syvitski et al. – 'Sinking Deltas Due to Human Activities' – Pages 681 and 684.
  11. Area submerged a loose estimate based on some 16% of Bangladesh being submerged if sea levels rise by 1.5 metres, Bangladesh likely sinking by one metre come 2100 and global sea levels likely rising by an average of 1.5 metres come 2100 if human-made greenhouse gas emissions increase at the current rate until 2060 and stop by 2070. Projection assumes human-made emissions result in the terrestrial biosphere and thawing permafrost soil releasing a further 351 ppm of carbon dioxide equivalent into the atmosphere by 2100. Area submerged as a result of sea-level rises based on climate model simulations sourced from GRID-Arendal – 'Vital Climate Graphics' – www.grida.no. Extent of Bangladesh sinking based on relative sea-level rises for the Ganges–Brahmaputra delta of between 8 and 18 millimetres per year if sea levels rise by only 7 millimetres per year. Sourced from Syvitski et al. – 'Sinking Deltas Due to Human Activities' – Pages 681 and 684. Projected sea-level rise sourced from Horton et al. – 'Expert Assessment of Sea-Level Rise by AD 2100 and AD 2300' – Pages 1 to 5. Terrestrial biosphere emissions sourced from Cox et al. – 'Acceleration of Global Warming Due to Carbon-Cycle Feedbacks in a Coupled Climate Model' – Pages 184 to 187. Thawing permafrost emissions based on Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5 and sourced from MacDougall et al. – 'Significant Contribution to Climate Warming from the Permafrost Carbon Feedback' – Pages 719 to 721. Area flooded based on at least eight previous floods affecting more than 50% of the land area in the last fifty years. Sourced from World Meteorological Organization and Global Water Partnership – 'Bangladesh: Flood Management' – Page 1.
  12. Based on 2050 projections sourced from United Nations – 'World Population Prospects: The 2015 Revision, Key Findings and Advance Tables' – Page 18.
  13. Number of Bangladeshis losing their lives loosely based on 100,000 people dying as a result of the 1991 floods and storms experienced by Bangladesh. Sourced from Schiermeier, Quirin – 'Holding Back the Tide' – Pages 164 to 166. Number of Bangladeshis left homeless loosely based on an estimated 17 million people being affected by a 1.5-metre global sea-level rise, Bangladesh likely sinking by one metre by the end of the century and global sea levels likely rising by an average of 1.5 metres by the end of the century if human-made greenhouse gas emissions increase at the current rate until 2060 and stop by 2070. Projection assumes human-made emissions result in the terrestrial biosphere and thawing permafrost soil releasing a further 351 ppm of carbon dioxide equivalent into the atmosphere by 2100. Number of Bangladeshis affected by a 1.5-metre sea-level rise based on climate model simulations sourced from GRID-Arendal – 'Vital Climate Graphics' – www.grida.no. Extent of Bangladesh sinking based on relative sea-level rises for the Ganges–Brahmaputra delta of between 8 and 18 millimetres per year if sea levels rise by only 7 millimetres per year. Sourced from Syvitski et al. – 'Sinking Deltas Due to Human Activities' – Pages 681 and 684. Projected sea-level rise sourced from Horton et al. – 'Expert Assessment of Sea-Level Rise by AD 2100 and AD 2300' – Pages 1 to 5. Terrestrial biosphere emissions sourced from Cox et al. – 'Acceleration of Global Warming Due to Carbon-Cycle Feedbacks in a Coupled Climate Model' – Pages 184 to 187. Thawing permafrost emissions based on Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5 and sourced from MacDougall et al. – 'Significant Contribution to Climate Warming from the Permafrost Carbon Feedback' – Pages 719 to 721.
  14. Based on the 1998 floods experienced by Bangladesh which resulted in an entire year's rice yield being destroyed. Sourced from Bowden, Rob – 'The Ganges (A River Journey)' – Page 41.
  15. Based on the current recommended intake of salt being 5 grams per day and coastal floods raising the salt content of the river water to as much as 8.21 grams per litre. This means that if someone drinks three litres of water each day, he or she will consume 24.63 grams of salt. For reference, a range of health problems among coastal populations that drink, cook and bathe in water with high quantities of salt have been identified. This includes hypertension and miscarriage among pregnant women, skin diseases, acute respiratory infection and diarrhoeal diseases. Sourced from Vineis et al. – 'Climate Change Impacts on Water Salinity and Health' – Pages 5 to 10.
  16. Details of preferred habitats for mosquitos sourced from Germanwatch – 'Sea-Level Rise in Bangladesh and the Netherlands: One Phenomenon, Many Consequences' (2004) – Page 6.
  17. Schiermeier, Quirin – 'Holding Back the Tide' – Pages 164 to 166.
  18. Historical sediment distribution sourced from Schiermeier, Quirin – 'Holding Back the Tide' – Pages 164 to 166. Number of rivers sourced from Banglapedia – 'River and Drainage System' – en.banglapedia.org.
  19. Diversions based on much of the river flow into Bangladesh already being diverted. Sourced from Schiermeier, Quirin – 'Holding Back the Tide' – Pages 164 to 166. Sinking based on relative sea-level rises for the Ganges–Brahmaputra delta of between 8 and 18 millimetres per year if sea levels rise by only 7 millimetres per year and global sea levels likely rising by an average of 1.5 metres by the end of the century if human-made greenhouse gas emissions increase at the current rate until 2060 and stop by 2070. Projection assumes human-made emissions result in the terrestrial biosphere and thawing permafrost soil releasing a further 351 ppm of carbon dioxide equivalent into the atmosphere by 2100. Relative sea-level rise within the Ganges–Brahmaputra delta sourced from Syvitski et al. – 'Sinking Deltas Due to Human Activities' – Page 684. Projected sea-level rise sourced from Horton et al. – 'Expert Assessment of Sea-Level Rise by AD 2100 and AD 2300' – Pages 1 to 5. Terrestrial biosphere emissions sourced from Cox et al. – 'Acceleration of Global Warming Due to Carbon-Cycle Feedbacks in a Coupled Climate Model' – Pages 184 to 187. Thawing permafrost emissions based on Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5 and sourced from MacDougall et al. – 'Significant Contribution to Climate Warming from the Permafrost Carbon Feedback' – Pages 719 to 721.
  20. Based on sea levels likely rising by 3.3 metres due to the melting of West Antarctica, 6.1 metres due to the melting of Greenland, 5.1 metres due to the melting of the East Antarctic Aurora Basin, 3.5 metres due to the melting of the East Antarctic Wilkes Basin and 1.6 metres due to ocean expansion over the next two millennia unless drastic action is undertaken to reduce human-made greenhouse gas emissions. Sourced from Le Page, Michael – 'Latest Numbers Show at Least 5 Metres Sea-level Rise Locked In' – Pages 8 to 10.
  21. Based on thawing permafrost soil likely increasing atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide equivalent by a further 279 ppm come 2300 if human-made greenhouse gas emissions increase at the current rate until 2060 and stop by 2070. Projection assumes human-made emissions result in the terrestrial biosphere releasing a further 250 ppm of carbon dioxide equivalent into the atmosphere by 2100. Thawing permafrost emissions based on Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5 and sourced from MacDougall et al. – 'Significant Contribution to Climate Warming from the Permafrost Carbon Feedback' – Pages 719 to 721. Terrestrial biosphere emissions sourced from Cox et al. – 'Acceleration of Global Warming Due to Carbon-Cycle Feedbacks in a Coupled Climate Model' – Pages 184 to 187.
  22. MacDougall et al. – 'Significant Contribution to Climate Warming from the Permafrost Carbon Feedback' – Pages 719.
  23. Jump of 60 ppm based on thawing permafrost soil likely increasing atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide equivalent by 101 ppm come 2100 if human-made greenhouse gas emissions increase at the current rate until 2060 and stop by 2070. Projection assumes human-made emissions result in the terrestrial biosphere releasing a further 250 ppm of carbon dioxide equivalent into the atmosphere by 2100. Jump of 220 ppm based on thawing permafrost soil likely increasing atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide equivalent by a projected 279 ppm come 2300 if human-made greenhouse gas emissions increase at the current rate until 2060 and stop by 2070. Projection assumes human-made emissions result in the terrestrial biosphere releasing a further 250 ppm of carbon dioxide equivalent into the atmosphere by 2100. Thawing permafrost emissions based on Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5 and sourced from MacDougall et al. – 'Significant Contribution to Climate Warming from the Permafrost Carbon Feedback' – Pages 719 to 721. Terrestrial biosphere emissions sourced from Cox et al. – 'Acceleration of Global Warming Due to Carbon-Cycle Feedbacks in a Coupled Climate Model' – Pages 184 to 187.
  24. Based on a global temperature rise of 4°C above pre-industrial levels being more likely than unlikely if atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide equivalent exceed 1,000 ppm and atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide equivalent likely exceeding 1,075 ppm if human-made emissions continue to increase at the current rate until 2060, and stop by 2070. Figure based on atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide equivalent likely increasing to 725 ppm if human-made emissions continue to increase at the current rate until 2060, it being unlikely that a 2°C temperature rise can be avoided if atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide exceed 650 ppm, the terrestrial biosphere likely releasing a further 250 ppm of carbon dioxide equivalent into the atmosphere if global temperatures rise by more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels and thawing permafrost soil likely releasing a further 101 ppm of carbon dioxide equivalent into the atmosphere by 2100 even if all human-made greenhouse gas emissions are stopped by the end of the century. Likelihood of temperature rise sourced from Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – 'Climate Change 2014: Synthesis Report' – Page 22. Increase in atmospheric concentrations due to human-made emissions based on Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5, including all forcing agents, and sourced from RCP Data Comparison – 'RCP Database' – www.iiasa.ac.at. Terrestrial biosphere emissions sourced from Cox et al. – 'Acceleration of Global Warming Due to Carbon-Cycle Feedbacks in a Coupled Climate Model' – Pages 184 to 187. Thawing permafrost emissions based on Representative Concentration Pathway 4.5 and sourced from MacDougall et al. – 'Significant Contribution to Climate Warming from the Permafrost Carbon Feedback' – Pages 719 to 721.
  25. Based on thawing permafrost soil likely increasing atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide equivalent by a further 279 ppm come 2300 if human-made greenhouse gas emissions increase at the current rate until 2060 and stop by 2070. Projection assumes human-made emissions result in the terrestrial biosphere releasing a further 250 ppm of carbon dioxide equivalent into the atmosphere by 2100. Thawing permafrost emissions based on Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5 and sourced from MacDougall et al. – 'Significant Contribution to Climate Warming from the Permafrost Carbon Feedback' – Pages 719 to 721. Terrestrial biosphere emissions sourced from Cox et al. – 'Acceleration of Global Warming Due to Carbon-Cycle Feedbacks in a Coupled Climate Model' – Pages 184 to 187.
  26. MacDougall et al. – 'Significant Contribution to Climate Warming from the Permafrost Carbon Feedback' – Pages 719.
  27. Jump of 60 ppm based on thawing permafrost soil likely increasing atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide equivalent by 101 ppm come 2100 if human-made greenhouse gas emissions increase at the current rate until 2060 and stop by 2070. Projection assumes human-made emissions result in the terrestrial biosphere releasing a further 250 ppm of carbon dioxide equivalent into the atmosphere by 2100. Jump of 220 ppm based on thawing permafrost soil likely increasing atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide equivalent by a projected 279 ppm come 2300 if human-made greenhouse gas emissions increase at the current rate until 2060 and stop by 2070. Projection assumes human-made emissions result in the terrestrial biosphere releasing a further 250 ppm of carbon dioxide equivalent into the atmosphere by 2100. Thawing permafrost emissions based on Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5 and sourced from MacDougall et al. – 'Significant Contribution to Climate Warming from the Permafrost Carbon Feedback' – Pages 719 to 721. Terrestrial biosphere emissions sourced from Cox et al. – 'Acceleration of Global Warming Due to Carbon-Cycle Feedbacks in a Coupled Climate Model' – Pages 184 to 187.
  28. Based on a global temperature rise of 4°C above pre-industrial levels being more likely than unlikely if atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide equivalent exceed 1,000 ppm and atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide equivalent likely exceeding 1,075 ppm if human-made emissions continue to increase at the current rate until 2060, and stop by 2070. Figure based on atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide equivalent likely increasing to 725 ppm if human-made emissions continue to increase at the current rate until 2060, it being unlikely that a 2°C temperature rise can be avoided if atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide exceed 650 ppm, the terrestrial biosphere likely releasing a further 250 ppm of carbon dioxide equivalent into the atmosphere if global temperatures rise by more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels and thawing permafrost soil likely releasing a further 101 ppm of carbon dioxide equivalent into the atmosphere by 2100 even if all human-made greenhouse gas emissions are stopped by the end of the century. Likelihood of temperature rise sourced from Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – 'Climate Change 2014: Synthesis Report' – Page 22. Increase in atmospheric concentrations due to human-made emissions based on Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5, including all forcing agents, and sourced from RCP Data Comparison – 'RCP Database' – www.iiasa.ac.at. Terrestrial biosphere emissions sourced from Cox et al. – 'Acceleration of Global Warming Due to Carbon-Cycle Feedbacks in a Coupled Climate Model' – Pages 184 to 187. Thawing permafrost emissions based on Representative Concentration Pathway 4.5 and sourced from MacDougall et al. – 'Significant Contribution to Climate Warming from the Permafrost Carbon Feedback' – Pages 719 to 721.
  29. Based on climate model simulations demonstrating a risk of tropical cyclone development over the Mediterranean Sea if human-made greenhouse gas emissions increase at the current rate until 2060 and stop by 2070. Projection assumes human-made emissions result in the terrestrial biosphere and thawing permafrost soil releasing a further 351 ppm of carbon dioxide equivalent into the atmosphere by 2100. Risk of tropical cyclone development over the Mediterranean Sea sourced from Gaertner et al. – 'Tropical Cyclones Over the Mediterranean Sea in Climate Change Simulations' – Pages 1 to 5. Terrestrial biosphere emissions sourced from Cox et al. – 'Acceleration of Global Warming Due to Carbon-Cycle Feedbacks in a Coupled Climate Model' – Pages 184 to 187. Thawing permafrost emissions based on Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5 and sourced from MacDougall et al. – 'Significant Contribution to Climate Warming from the Permafrost Carbon Feedback' – Pages 719 to 721.
  30. Wind speed based on those measured during Cyclone Pam and sourced from BBC News – 'Dozens Feared Dead After Cyclone Pam Hits Vanuatu' – www.bbc.com. Cities identified based on those cities directly exposed to the Mediterranean Sea.
  31. Based on Hurricane Katrina taking the lives of 986 Americans. Sourced from Brunkard, Namulanda and Ratard – 'Hurricane Katrina Deaths, Louisiana, 2005' (2008) – Pages 215 to 223.
  32. Based on 600,000 households still being uninhabitable one month after Hurricane Katrina struck. Sourced from Weaver, Teresa K. – 'Katrina and Rita: Five Years Later' – Page 6.
  33. Based on the assumption that existing European infrastructure and power lines are not designed to withstand tropical cyclones.
  34. Loose estimate based on two storms the size of Hurricane Katrina hitting Europe during a single year. Cost of damages caused by Hurricane Katrina sourced from Weaver, Teresa K. – 'Katrina and Rita: Five Years Later' – Page 6.
  35. Minimum sea surface temperature required for the formation of tropical cyclones sourced from Dare, Richard and McBride, John – 'The Threshold Sea Surface Temperature Condition for Tropical Cyclogenesis' – Pages 4,570 to 4,576.
  36. Based on surface ocean temperatures exceeding 25.5°C more regularly and in an increased number of locations.
  37. Loosely based on the January 2016 blizzards experienced by the Unites States which affected some 20 States in addition to some 80 million people. Sourced from The Guardian – 'Blizzard Brings U.S. East Coast to Standstill and Delivers Near-Record Snowfall' – www.theguardian.com.
  38. Loosely based on the January 2016 blizzards experienced by the United States. Sourced from The Guardian – 'Blizzard Brings U.S. East Coast to Standstill and Delivers Near-Record Snowfall' – www.theguardian.com.
  39. Based on snowdrifts documented in the Great Blizzard of 1888 experienced by the United States. Sourced from Encyclopaedia Britannica – 'Great Blizzard of 1888' – www.britannica.com.
  40. Based on 25% of flights in the United States being cancelled as a result of the blizzards experienced in 1993. Sourced from United States Department of Commerce – 'Natural Disaster Survey Report: Superstorm of March 1993' – Page 1-1.
  41. Number of lives lost based on over 100 people losing their lives in the 1993 blizzards experienced by the United States. Sourced from United States Department of Commerce – 'Natural Disaster Survey Report: Superstorm of March 1993' – Page 1-1. Number of lives lost as a result of being trapped within the vehicle based on nine motorists freezing to death due to being stranded in their cars during the 1977 blizzards experienced by the United States. Sourced from USA Today – 'Buffalo Remembers Infamous Blizzard of '77' – usatoday.com.
  42. Based on over three million customers losing their electrical supply and hundreds of roofs collapsing as a result of the 1993 blizzards experienced by the United States. Sourced from Lott, Neal – 'The Big One! A Review of the March 12-14, 1993 'Storm of the Century'' – Page 1.
  43. Based on the 1977 blizzards experienced by the United States and sourced from USA Today – 'Buffalo Remembers Infamous Blizzard of '77' – usatoday.com.
  44. Based on many businesses and schools remaining closed for as much as a week after the 1977 blizzards experienced by the United States had subsided. Sourced from USA Today – 'Buffalo Remembers Infamous Blizzard of '77' – usatoday.com.
  45. Based on 71% to 80% of blizzards occurring during warmer than normal years, 61% to 85% of all blizzards occurring during wetter than normal years, the amount of heavy rainfall falling in the United States likely increasing if temperatures rise and average global temperatures likely rising by 3.6°C above pre-industrial levels come 2080 if human-made greenhouse gas emissions increase at the current rate until 2060 and stop by 2070. Projection assumes human-made emissions result in the terrestrial biosphere and thawing permafrost soil releasing a further 351 ppm of carbon dioxide equivalent into the atmosphere by 2100. Percentage of snowstorms occurring in warmer and wetter years sourced from Changnon et al. – Temporal and Spatial Characteristics of Snowstorms in the Contiguous United States – Page 1,149. Increase in heavy rainfall due to temperatures rising sourced from Groisman et al. – 'Trends in Intense Precipitation in the Climate Record' – Page 1,341. Projected temperature rise based on Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5 and sourced from Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – 'Climate Change 2014: Synthesis Report' – Pages 10 to 11. Terrestrial biosphere emissions sourced from Cox et al. – 'Acceleration of Global Warming Due to Carbon-Cycle Feedbacks in a Coupled Climate Model' – Pages 184 to 187. Thawing permafrost emissions based on Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5 and sourced from MacDougall et al. – 'Significant Contribution to Climate Warming from the Permafrost Carbon Feedback' – Pages 719 to 721.
  46. Based on quotes from Penn State climatologist Michael Mann sourced from Mooney, Chris – 'Global Warming Could Make Blizzards Worse' – www.washingtonpost.com.
  47. Based on quotes from Penn State climatologist Michael Mann sourced from Mooney, Chris – 'Global Warming Could Make Blizzards Worse' – www.washingtonpost.com.

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