A new report from the World Bank warns that the world is progressing toward a 4-degree Celsius warmer climate that would be marked by extreme heat waves and life-threatening sea level rise.
"Turn Down the Heat" puts forth projections for 21st century droughts, heat waves, sea level rise, food, water, ecosystems and human health.
The report synthesizes a new analysis of recent scientific literature and reports of already-observed weather extremes including the rapid melting of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets.
"A 4-degree C warmer world can, and must be, avoided -- we need to hold warming below 2-degree C," said World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim. "Lack of action on climate change threatens to make the world our children inherit a completely different world than we are living in today. Climate change is one of the single biggest challenges facing development, and we need to assume the moral responsibility to take action on behalf of future generations, especially the poorest."
The World Bank is increasing support for climate-smart development to guard against lower agricultural yields and risks to other human support systems that could impact whole continents.
"This report reinforces the reality that today's climate volatility affects everything we do," said Rachel Kyte, the Bank's Vice President for Sustainable Development. "We will redouble our efforts to build adaptive capacity and resilience, as well as find solutions to the climate challenge."