Anthropogenic climate change affects the lives and wellbeing of hundreds millions of people now and will do so for the foreseeable future. The change is driven by the emission of greenhouse gases, most importantly CO2.
Without substantial reductions in CO2, the most likely rise in the mean equilibrium surface temperature of the Earth compared to pre-industrial times by the end of this century is in the range of 3.7 to 4.8°C, but the possible increase is thought to go as high as 7.8°C.
Warming at that rate is unprecedented in human history. It would produce very high risks of extremely negative effects, including widespread loss of species and eco-systemic destruction, heat waves, extreme precipitation, and large and irreversible sea-level rise from terrestrial ice sheet loss.
For humans, these consequences would include significant threats to food security globally and regionally, increased risks of from food- and water-borne as well as vector-borne diseases, increased displacement due to migration, increased risks of violent conflicts, slowed economic growth and poverty eradication, and the creation of new poverty traps.
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