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Infographic – Climate Disasters Rising for Next Gens

Chart: climate disasters

Click on image for full-size view (Statista)

2 Oct. 2021. New research shows children born last year can expect to experience three times the number of adverse climate events in their lifetimes than earlier generations. The business research company Statista posted data from the study in chart form this week, first published on 26 Sept. in the journal Science (paid subscription required).

A team led by climate scientist Wim Thiery at Vrije University in Brussels, calculated the number and types of extreme climate-related events to expect for the rest of the century, if no action is taken to reverse the effects of climate change. The researchers then tabulated those extreme events by age groups, representing different generations born between 1960 and 2020.

The data show newborn children today can expect the number of climate disasters to triple in their lifetimes compared to their grandparents. Thiery and colleagues say children born today can expect 7.5 times as many heat waves than people born in 1960, contributing to 3.6 times as many droughts, 3 times as many crop failures, and 2 times as many wildfires. In addition, today’s young children can expect nearly 3 times as many rivers to flood.

The study team’s scenarios are based on atmospheric warming of 2.7 degrees C/4.9 F until 2100. If the world’s nations can reduce increases in warming to 1.5 degrees C, as called for in the 2015 Paris climate agreement, it would cut the number of heat waves almost in half, but still expose today’s children to more extreme climatic events.

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