How bad will it be in five years?

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Here’s an excerpt from this newsletter from Sasja Beslik – beware, it’s not an easy thing to read without feeling tightness in your chest:

Let’s start this week’s theatre edition with 4,000 leaked draft pages for IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report scheduled for next year. I don’t know about you, but when I read some of the things below I once again get that spooky chill along my spine. “The worst is yet to come, affecting our children’s and grandchildren’s lives much more than our own,” the report says.

Last month, the World Meteorological Organization projected a 40 percent chance that Earth will cross the 1.5-degree threshold for at least one year by 2026. This means, well, it means more trouble. Even if it’s half as bad as they say, it is not good for anyone. 40% is significant and 2026 is just 5 years away. Tens of millions more people are likely to face chronic hunger by 2050, and 130 million more could experience extreme poverty within a decade if inequality is allowed to deepen.

In 2050, coastal cities on the “frontline” of the climate crisis will see hundreds of millions of people at risk from floods and increasingly frequent storm surges made more deadly by rising seas. Some 350 million more people living in urban areas will be exposed to water scarcity from severe droughts at 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming – 410 million at two degrees Celsius. That extra half-a-degree will also mean 420 million more people exposed to extreme and potentially lethal heat waves.

In the more immediate future, some regions – eastern Brazil, Southeast Asia, the Mediterranean, central China – and coastlines almost everywhere could be battered by multiple climate calamities at once: drought, heat waves, cyclones, wildfires, flooding. Read more here in one of the media articles about the content in the leaked draft report.