Broad threat to humanity from cumulative climate hazards intensified by greenhouse gas emissions

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The ongoing emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs) is triggering changes in many climate hazards that can impact humanity. We found traceable evidence for 467 pathways by which human health, water, food, economy, infrastructure and security have been recently impacted by climate hazards such as warming, heatwaves, precipitation, drought, floods, fires, storms, sea-level rise and changes in natural land cover and ocean chemistry. By 2100, the world’s population will be exposed concurrently to the equivalent of the largest magnitude in one of these hazards if emmisions are aggressively reduced, or three if they are not, with some tropical coastal areas facing up to six simultaneous hazards. These findings highlight the fact that GHG emissions pose a broad threat to humanity by intensifying multiple hazards to which humanity is vulnerable.

Details

Authors
  • Camilo Mora
  • Daniele Spirandelli
  • Erik C. Franklin
  • John Lynham
  • Michael B. Kantar
  • Wendy Miles
  • Charlotte Z. Smith
  • Kelle Freel
  • Jade Moy
  • Leo V. Louis
  • Evan W. Barba
  • Keith Bettinger
  • Abby G. Frazier
  • John F. Colburn IX
  • Naota Hanasaki
  • Ed Hawkins
  • Yukiko Hirabayashi
  • Wolfgang Knorr
  • Christopher M. Little
  • Kerry Emanuel
  • And 3 others
  • Justin Sheffield
  • Jonathan A. Patz
  • Cynthia L. Hunter
Organisations
External organisations
  • University of Hawaii at Manoa
  • Cornell University
  • USDA Forest Service Pacific Southwest Research Station
  • National Institute for Environmental Studies of Japan
  • University of Reading
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • University of Southampton
  • Princeton University
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • East-West Center, Honolulu
  • Shibaura Institute of Technology
  • Atmospheric and Environmental Research, Inc
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Climate Research
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1062-1071
JournalNature Climate Change
Volume8
Issue number12
Early online date2018 Nov 19
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Dec
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes