As part of a new campaign ahead of the UN climate summit in New York this month, the World Meteorological Organization is warning of a future of floods, storms and searing heat is climate change continues unabated.
The organisation invited weather forecasters to imagine “weather reports from the future”, using the most up-to-date climate science to predict what the world could look like in 2050.
Mega-droughts, deadly heatwaves, a year’s rainfall in a month, coastal cities underwater and destruction of ocean life all made their way into the reports as climate change grips all corners of the earth.
“Miami South Beach is under water,” said one forecaster, while another describes a severe heatwave and an American presenter says: “The mega-drought in Arizona has claimed another casualty.”
One Bulgarian presenter shows a red map with temperatures of 50°C (122°F).
Produced by companies including Japan’s NHK, the US weather Channel and ARD in Germany, the reports are being issued ahead of the UN Secretary General’s Climate Summit in New York later this month.
While imaginary, the scenarios are a realistic look at the warming world.
In a statement, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki moon said:
Climate change is affecting the weather everywhere. It makes it more extreme and disturbs established patterns. That means more disasters; more uncertainty. We can reduce the risks by cutting global greenhouse gas emissions and building low-carbon economies. Let’s work together to make our societies safer and more resilient. Please join me in taking action on climate change.
The UN Secretary General’s Climate Summit is the perfect opportunity for political leaders to show they understand the science behind climate change and the steps that need to be taken to avoid a future governed by dangerous and unpredictable weather.
The weather reports are potential scenarios compatible with the predictions of the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change’s Fifth Assessment Report.
WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud said:
They paint a compelling picture of what life could be like on a warmer planet. Climate change is already leading to more extreme weather such as intense heat and rain. The “abnormal“ risks becoming the norm. We need to act now.
The IPCC’s report last year concluded it is at least 95% probable that human activities, rather than natural variations in the climate, are the main cause of global warming since 1950.