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Amid rising temperatures, UN agency launches video ‘forecasts’ on impact of climate change

5 July 2017 – In a year already marked by heatwaves and new daily temperature records, the United Nations weather agency and television weather anchors have joined forces to create video forecasts that explore how climate change would make future summers even hotter in major cities of the world.

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and Climate Central, a research and communications organization based in the United States, invited weather presenters from a dozen countries to work with meteorological services and other national experts to explore the implications.

“What the weather presenters have created are only possible scenarios, and not true forecasts. Nevertheless, they are based on the most up-to-date climate science, and they paint a compelling picture of how climate change may impact daily life in cities where most of the world’s population lives,” said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas in a press release.

Cities featured in the “Summer in the City” videos include Barcelona, Berlin, Brussels, Buenos Aires, Cape Town, Frankfurt, Hanoi, Havana, Kampala, Madrid, Montreal, Nairobi, Paris, Sofia and Tokyo.

If greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase, the Earth’s average global surface temperature could rise more than 4 degrees Celsius or 7.2 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of this century, according to WMO.

TV weather presenters used two different climate change scenarios – high emissions and moderate emissions – and matched each selected city with a city that already experiences such temperatures.

For instance, in 2100, the citizens of Paris, where daily summer high temperatures now average 22.7 degrees Celsius, may see summer high temperatures hit 29.2 degrees Celsius as experienced today in Fez, Morocco.

Climate Central has posted an interactive map to visualize these match-ups.

Many of the assessed cities could see their maximum daily temperatures in summer rise by as much as 6 to 9 degrees Celsius.

“Urban warming could be double that of surrounding areas due to the presence of stone materials and paved roads. This would lead in particular to higher night-time temperatures,” said Mr. Taalas.

“The enhanced heat – and an expected increase in associated extreme weather like summer storms – will have major implications for energy and water supplies, public health and transportation. More intense heatwaves would also often lead to poorer air quality, which can even be lethal,” he added.

The videos are posted on the WMO YouTube channel.

In a similar exercise, WMO previously worked with some 60 weather presenters on “Weather Reports from the year 2050.”

Article source: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=57120

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On Asteroid Day, UN space agency urges international cooperation against potential threat

30 June 2017 – A top United Nations official today urged the international community to come together to jointly raise awareness and develop a plan to mitigate the danger from a potential asteroid impact.

Marking the first observance of International Asteroid Day, the Director of the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), said today was an opportunity to learn about the technological progress taking place around the world to both identify and counter asteroids.

“International cooperation is the best way to address the potential impact of an asteroid on our planet,” said Simonetta Di Pippo.

“Join us to raise awareness of the value of space technology to address global challenges, no matter where they come from and let’s work together for the benefit of all humankind.”

The Day, which will be marked annually on 30 June, is meant to “raise public awareness about the asteroid impact hazard and inform the public about the crisis communication actions to be taken at the global level in case of a credible near-Earth object threat,” according to the dedicated UN website.

The General Assembly chose 30 June to mark the date in 1908 when a massive explosion above Tunguska, in Siberian Russia, caused by an asteroid, hit a forested area reportedly flattening some 80 million trees.

The incident was “the Earth’s largest asteroid impact in recorded history,” according to the UN.

UNOOSA has said that it worked for many years to recognize asteroids or comets – both considered near-earth objects (NEOs) – as global issues demanding an international response.

“Addressing such a hazard, including the identification of those objects that pose a threat of impact and planning a corresponding mitigation campaign, requires cooperative action in the interest of public safety on the part of the global community,” the UN agency said.

Among most recent NEOs entering the Earth’s atmosphere, a large fireball disintegrated in the skies over Chelyabinsk on 15 February 2013. The fireball is said to have travelled at a speed of 18.6 km per second and was estimated to carry the equivalent of 440 kilotons of TNT explosives.

Article source: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=57092

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On Asteroid Day, UN space agency urges international planning for potential impact threat

30 June 2017 – The potential impact of an asteroid or comet hitting Earth could be catastrophic, a top United Nations official today warned, urging the international community to come together to jointly raise awareness and develop a plan to mitigate the danger.

Marking the first observance of International Asteroid Day, the Director of the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), said today was an opportunity to learn about the technological progress taking place around the world to both identify and counter asteroids.

“International cooperation is the best way to address the potential impact of an asteroid on our planet,” said Simonetta Di Pippo.

“Join us to raise awareness of the value of space technology to address global challenges, no matter where they come from and let’s work together for the benefit of all humankind.”

The Day, which will be marked annually on 30 June, is meant to “raise public awareness about the asteroid impact hazard and inform the public about the crisis communication actions to be taken at the global level in case of a credible near-Earth object threat,” according to the dedicated UN website.

The General Assembly chose 30 June to mark the date in 1908 when a massive explosion above Tunguska, in Siberian Russia, caused by an asteroid, hit a forested area reportedly flattening some 80 million trees.

The incident was “the Earth’s largest asteroid impact in recorded history,” according to the UN.

UNOOSA has said that it worked for many years to recognize asteroids or comets – both considered near-earth objects (NEOs) – as global issues demanding an international response.

“Addressing such a hazard, including the identification of those objects that pose a threat of impact and planning a corresponding mitigation campaign, requires cooperative action in the interest of public safety on the part of the global community,” the UN agency said.

Among most recent NEOs entering the Earth’s atmosphere, a large fireball disintegrated in the skies over Chelyabinsk on 15 February 2013. The fireball is said to have travelled at a speed of 18.6 km per second and was estimated to carry the equivalent of 440 kilotons of TNT explosives.

Article source: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=57092

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