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UNESCO Course for Secondary Teachers on CCESD
Overview
This resource pack contains region-specific information to be used as background for
classroom lessons and activities. Specific activities that require information from this resource
pack are indicated in the classroom activity descriptions. The contents are broken down as
follows:
• Section A provides climate change status and predictions relevant to all four regions.
• Section B provides data on the impacts of climate change in Africa.
• Section C provides a selection of regional and national climate change mitigation and
adaptation policies.
• Section D provides case studies on climate change impacts.
• Section E provides stories of positive action.
Section A: Climate Change Emissions and Impacts –
The Global Situation
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Information on
Current Knowledge about Future Impacts
Freshwater resources and their management
By mid-century, annual average river runoff and water availability are projected to increase by
10-40% at high latitudes and in some wet tropical areas, and decrease by 10-30% over some
dry regions at mid-latitudes and in the dry tropics, some of which are presently water-stressed
areas. In some places and in particular seasons, changes differ from these annual figures.]
Drought-affected areas will likely increase in extent. Heavy precipitation events, which are very
likely to increase in frequency, will augment flood risk.
In the course of the century, water supplies stored in glaciers and snow cover are projected
to decline, reducing water availability in regions supplied by meltwater frommajor mountain
ranges, where more than one-sixth of the world population currently lives.
Adaptation procedures and risk management practices for the water sector are being
developed in some countries and regions that have recognised projected hydrological changes
with related uncertainties.
Ecosystems
The resilience of many ecosystems is likely to be exceeded this century by an unprecedented
combination of climate change, associated disturbances (e.g., flooding, drought, wildfire,
insects, ocean acidification), and other global change drivers (e.g., land-use change, pollution,
over-exploitation of resources).
Over the course of this century, net carbon uptake by terrestrial ecosystems is likely to peak
before mid-century and then weaken or even reverse, thus amplifying climate change.
Approximately 20-30% of plant and animal species assessed so far are likely to be at increased
risk of extinction if increases in global average temperature exceed 1.5-2.5°C.
For increases in global average temperature exceeding 1.5-2.5°C and in concomitant
atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations, there are projected to be major changes in
ecosystem structure and function, species’ ecological interactions, and species’ geographical
ranges, with predominantly negative consequences for biodiversity, and ecosystem goods and
services e.g., water and food supply.
The progressive acidification of oceans due to increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide levels
increases the potential for the skeletons of coldwater coral reefs to dissolve, perhaps already
within a few decades. The impacts will be greatest at high latitudes..
Climate Change Emissions and Impacts - The Global Situation
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