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A Few Facts about Climate Change

The only relevant issue after the Climate Change Summit in Paris is wether or not the heads of State are going to be compliant with their commitments. It is not disputed that an ever-increasing number of natural disasters -drought, flooding, cyclones etc..- have already affected many countries throughout the world. And the majority of the world's climate scientists stress that rising global temperatures will increase the frequency and intensity of such events. World leaders are starting to understand that the costs of inaction may be higher than those associated with the investments needed to meet an agreement on a global warming limit. Stanford researchers' calculations indicate that without climate mitigation even wealthy countries will see an economic downturn by 2100. And scientific evidence shows the particular negative impact of climate change on the least developed countries. The facts are clear. Since 1995, date of the first UN conference on climate, weather catastrophes resulted in the death of more than 600,000 people. Very briefly, oceans and forests are the first hit. Our livelihood is already threatened by sea-level rise. Suffice it to note that almost half of the global population lives along a fringe of coastal land of 150km in width. Many mega-cities located by the sea, including Tokyo, Singapore and Miami will have to face difficult situations. Forests are also in danger. A recent study by Science Advances indicated that at least 36% of the 15,000 tree species of the Amazonian forest were endangered as a result of deforestation and repetitive drought. And the overall situation is all the more alarming because the causes of the extreme climate events are mutually reinforcing.

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