New Analysis Backs Up Current Climate Impacts with Data

Remarkable advances in computing power have revealed how climate change is already impacting social life around the world.

While it may seem elementary to connect the observable uptick in extreme weather events in recent years with the changes we’re now seeing in the economy, agriculture, trade, energy, migration, and other areas, it has only been through new feats of analysis that researchers have been able to demonstrate cause and effect.

A new study published today in the journal Science drew on the proliferation on a wide range of social research to assess how climate change was affecting social life around the world today.

“So much attention is focused on the future effects of climate change that hardships imposed by the climate today, which are often just as large, are ignored,” Solomon Hsiang, one of the researchers on the project at UC Berkeley said in the article. “If we solve these problems today, we’ll benefit everyone, both in this generation and the next.”

For instance, tt was calculated that rising temperatures in sub-Saharan Africa have driven up conflict by 29 percent and slowed the growth rof the global economy by 0.25 percentage points a year.

Many of their findings won’t come as no surprise to people living in climate vulnerable areas, but having empirical date could help policymakers steer resources and anticipate problem areas.

In fact, the authors highlight “adaptation gaps,” where populations are unable to protect themselves from worsening impacts. And in a world with ever-increasing need and limited support to go around, this is valuable information indeed.

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