Anticipating the Impacts of Extreme Weather On World's Major Cities

A new report from the UK's Met Office Hadley Centre for Climate Change offers specific impact projections for 24 countries. CNN offers a slide show of recent calamities.
December 27, 2011, 9am PST | Chris Steins | @urbaninsight
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According to Jan Corfee-Morlot, senior climate change analyst for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, "Recent risk studies from the OECD as well as the newly published data from the Met Office report predict that extreme 'once-in-a-lifetime' weather events such as flash floods and coastal hurricanes are going to become significantly more commonplace.
In America alone, New York, Miami, New Orleans -- these cities face terrible exposure to floods", writes George Webster writes for CNN.

"In America alone -- New York, Miami, New Orleans -- these cities face terrible exposure to floods, and unlike cities such as Rotterdam (in the Netherlands) -- they do not have the defenses to prevent them."

The UK's Met Office Hadley Centre studied 24 different countries, from developed to developing. It notes that all the countries in the study have warmed since the 1960s and that the occurrence of extremely warm temperatures has increased whilst extremely cold temperatures have become less frequent. If emissions are left unchecked, the report says temperatures would rise generally between three and five degrees Celsius this century. This could be accompanied by significant changes in rainfall patterns, leading in many cases to increased pressure on crop production, water stress and flood risks.

Among the key findings from the report: Eleven countries studied show an increase in the number of people at risk from coastal flooding due to sea level rise. By the end of the century, in the worst case scenario, up to about 49 million additional people could be at risk, with the majority being in Bangladesh, China, India, Egypt and Indonesia.

Thanks to Ashwani Vasishth via Planning News Group Listserv

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Published on Friday, December 23, 2011 in CNN
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