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March 30, 2007 10:09 pm
Climate change is threatening vital infrastructure such as road and rail networks, water and energy systems, and healthcare, and the damage is set to worsen, the world’s leading climate scientists will warn next week.
The damage will occur even as some regions, such as the UK and northern Europe, and parts of the Americas, enjoy some of the benefits from global warming.
Areas that now have cold climates will experience longer growing seasons and a greater variety of crops, as well as becoming more attractive to tourists. Melting ice may also allow for mineral extraction in areas such as Canada and Russia, and drilling for oil in the Arctic.
But warmer regions, such as southern Europe, the US south and parts of Asia, will suffer lower agricultural yields, droughts and the spread of human, animal and plant diseases, the scientists are expected to conclude.
On Monday in Brussels, the world’s leading climate scientists will meet to finalise their findings on the impact of global warming in the form of a report, six years in the making and drawing on the work of more than 2,500 experts. On Friday, they are scheduled to publish their summary, making up the second section of the report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
The report should act as a “wake-up call”, said Karen Wordsworth, a partner in Met Office Consulting, an arm of the UK Met Office set up to help businesses deal with global warming.
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