Climate change is recognised as a global concern that needs to be taken into account in managing humanitarian disasters.
How the risk of natural disaster increases with climate change
||Examples of major impact
- days and nights are generally warmer,
- fewer cold days and nights,
- more frequent heatwaves
- Reduced agricultural yields in warmer environments due to heat stress.
- Increased heat-related mortality, particularly for the elderly, chronically sick, very young, and socially isolated.
- Increased insect outbreaks and risk of bushfires.
- Increased water demand and effects on water resources relying on snow melt.
- Water quality problems and declining air quality in cities.
- increasing frequency of heavy precipitation
- Damage to crops and soil erosion.
- Adverse effects on quality of surface and ground water.
- Increased risk of deaths, injuries, and infectious, respiratory, and skin diseases.
- Disruption of settlements, commerce, transport, and societies due to flooding.
- Pressures on urban and rural infrastructure.
- Loss of property.
- increasing areas affected by drought.
- Land degradation, lower yields, and crop damage.
- Increased livestock deaths.
- Increased risk of bush fires.
- Food and water shortage contributing to malnutrition, and water- and food-borne diseases.
- increasing intensity of tropical cyclones.
- Damage to crops and trees.
- Increased risk of deaths, injuries and disease spread through contaminated water or food.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder.
- Disruption by flood and high winds.
- Withdrawal by private insurers of risk coverage in vulnerable areas.
- Migration, loss of property.
- increasing incidence of extremely high sea levels.
- Salinization of irrigation water and freshwater systems, and decreased freshwater availability
- Increased risk of deaths by drowning in floods.
- Migration-related health effects.
- Costs of coastal protection versus relocation.
- Potential for relocation of people and infrastructure.
- Tropical-cyclone effects.
Adapted from : IPCC 2007 Working Group II, Summary for Policymakers, Red Cross/red Crescent Climate Guide
International agreements guiding action on climate change
- The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) aims to: enable “ecosystems to adapt naturally to climate change; ensure that food production is not threatened, and; enable sustainable development.
- The Kyoto Protocol commits industrialized countries to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in line with agreed and binding targets.
This page was last updated on 14 October 2013