The World Bank has issued a report warning of food shortages and damage to coastal areas as the global climate warms over the course of the century.
Average global temperatures will rise by 4 degrees Celsius by 2100, the World Bank concludes. That’s twice the rate currently estimated by the United Nations, Bloomberg notes.
If that increase materializes it will cause “cataclysmic changes” to the world economy. Rising sea levels will flood low-lying coastal areas, inundating cities like New York and large parts of countries like the Philippines and Bangladesh, and prompting mass migrations.
Scorching heat waves and droughts will also cause lower crop output in the U.S. and elsewhere, reducing the world’s food supply.
World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said that the changes caused by a 4 degree increase in temperature could stymie efforts to manage economic shifts and must be avoided. The report noted that current industrial emissions targets were insufficient to head off climate change.
Under Kim’s leadership, global warming has become a key priority for the World Bank. The issue was discussed at the June meeting of Group of 20 in Mexico.