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View Diary: New Study Predicts 6m Annual Deaths and 3% GDP Loss by 2030 - But That's Not the Real Story (30 comments)

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  •  My guess without reading is the vulnerability (6+ / 0-)

    in south Asia is due to the changes that are being seen in the glaciers of the Himalayan plateau which supply much of the water to those countries.  In years past, the monsoons come, dump water up there, and then the water flows down through India, Bangladesh and the rest through the year.  It also flows down through China, so I'm not sure why China is better protected than south Asia.

    Looking at this map, I can see why the denialists don't see impacts worthy of action here in the US.  The hot summer and drought worry me greatly, and I don't think we're as immune to the effects as that map seems to indicate.

    Why the issues in South America?

    •  map legend says: "comparative resilience" (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jbob, ColoTim, UltraAyla, Joieau

      It will likely be worse in the red than the green, but still bad in the green, is my reading. East Africa has climate related food crises already. I think south America has similar issues to south Asia, melting glaciers => undependable water supplies.

      An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

      by mightymouse on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 09:57:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  exactly. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mightymouse, ColoTim

        That's the way to read the map. Green still has impacts, but they're likely more able to mitigate them (wealth-wise) and possibly have fewer impacts than the tropics. The color scheme is a bit deceptive since green doesn't mean "good" so much as "less bad" than the baseline they established. It's all relative.

        For south america, I'd imagine that it's both glaciers, as you said, and adaptive capacity. I haven't looked into the estimated impacts recently, but I'd imagine they are very susceptible to changes in precipitation.

    •  An article in Nature last month (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      UltraAyla, ColoTim

      ... summarized work that's been done on glacier impacts in the Himalayas since the (single justified) criticism against the last IPCC report was lodged, in reference to one sentence in it about those glaciers.

      It turns out that only about 2% of the water in the major Indian rivers derives from glacier melt, another 3% from annual snowmelt.  Most of it is due directly to the rains from any current year's monsoons.  (Impact on Chinese rivers wasn't discussed.)

      So there will be some fresh water problems on the subcontinent - especially for the coasts of India and Bangla Desh, where sea rise is exacerbated by continental subsidence, and fresh water drinking wells will be exposed to salinization. But it won't be driven to massive levels of deprivation by disappearance of the glaciers.

      The same review notes that the eastern Himalayas are losing glaciers at about the average global rate; but the western glaciers are actually growing (so far), because the more intense monsoons have been increasing snow fall.

      I've kept a sharp eye out for any good news on the climate change front. This story, and studies over the last few years showing that the thermohaline circulation (the North Atlantic conveyor) is more resilient to Greenland melt than scientists realized a decade ago, are pretty much the whole lot.  All the other vectors seem to point to accelerated nastiness.

      •  thanks (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ColoTim

        thanks for the info. It's always good to see well-researched information and even admission of successes. I think it makes the whole movement look better when we actually admit that there are bright spots in the midst of the major catastrophe.

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