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A Map for Climate Impacts

By Rob Mitchum // July 18, 2014

Despite growing awareness and acceptance of climate change around the world, it remains hard for much of the public to grasp the impact of these changes beyond warmer temperatures. Should carbon emissions continue at their current levels, the Earth’s new climate will have consequences for agriculture and food supply, economics, flooding, drought, and even where people live. To help warn the public about these serious concerns, the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office released a graphic this week, the Human Dynamics of Climate Change map, which draws in part upon research at the CI’s Center for Robust Decision Making on Climate and Energy Policy (RDCEP).

The map, available here, illustrates how our tightly interconnected world may amplify the ripples of climate change in different parts of the world. Rising sea levels in Asia and drought in South America, Australia, and Africa would affect food security and demand for water throughout the world, leading to economic crisis and global health catastrophe.

In a press release, UK Foreign Office Minister Mark Simmonds said, “This reinforces the point that climate change is a global problem: no country is immune, and we all need to work together to reduce the risks to our shared prosperity and security.”

One of the poster’s panels, on Future Change in Water Demand for Irrigation, draws upon work published by CI fellow Joshua Elliott last year on the effects of climate change upon global freshwater supplies. Other panels are based on work by the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP), an international collaboration that includes Elliott and other RDCEP researchers.

For much more information on the poster, including a detailed Q&A about the models and research behind the graphics, visit the UK Met Office’s informational page.

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