A group of top climatologists have released a dire new report warning the nations of the world to prepare for an ever-increasing list of catastrophic and deadly weather conditions to play out over the next several years.
The Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued a shocking report on extreme weather after an emergency meeting was convened in Kampala, Uganda. This is the first time the group of scientists and climate experts have focused their attention on the dangers of extreme weather events.
One of the study's lead investigators, Maarten van Aalst, director of the International Red Cross/Red Crescent Climate Centre in the Netherlands, puts it bluntly: "We need to be worried. Our response needs to anticipate disasters and reduce risk before they happen rather than wait until after they happen and clean up afterward...the risk has already increased dramatically."
The report goes on to say, "a changing climate leads to changes in the frequency, intensity, spatial extent, duration, and timing of extreme weather and climate events, and can result in unprecedented extreme weather and climate events".
Another expert, Chris Field of Stanford University, said: "We face many challenges in the future; those include floods, drought, storms, and heatwaves."
The study is released after 2011 has been dubbed "The Year of The Disaster", with a series of weather-related catastrophes in the US alone causing tens of billions of dollars in damages and loss of property and life. The East Coast of the US has been hit with a series of record-breaking winter storms, a costly hurricane as well as a rare earthquake, while the Midwest and South were slammed with terrifying tornado outbreaks and floods of biblical proportions, leaving two nuclear power plants underwater. A record breaking heat wave and drought scorched Texas and Oklahoma and massive wildfires burned millions of acres of land in New Mexico, Arizona and California, with Reno, Nevada, currently being decimated by raging fires. Alaska was pounded by a winter "hurricane" only a few weeks ago, the worst storm on record to hit the state.
The costliest disaster of all time (so far) took place in March of this year, with the cataclysmic earthquake and tsunami in Japan causing several hundred billion dollars in damages and claiming more than 30,000 lives. The tsunami also created the worst nuclear accident of all time, as the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant went into a full-scale melt-down.
Fasten your seat belts, folks...it's going to be a bumpy ride...