Oh, what a pretty pinwheel! Until you look at what it illustrates. The height of each bar is the approximate number of hazards to the human concern listed from the impact of climate change. We’re in big trouble because each hazard compounds the others — it’s saying that if one thing doesn’t get you, something else will, and here’s an objective attempt at real risk assessment.
The authors conclusion could be shorter. They could have just written “We’re fucked.”
Given the vast number of components in coupled human–climate systems, assessing the impacts of climate change on humanity requires analyses that integrate diverse types of information. Contrasting temporal and spatial patterns of climate hazards, compounded with varying vulnerabilities of human systems, suggests that narrow analyses may not completely reflect the impacts of climate change on humanity. Our integrative analysis finds that even under strong mitigation scenarios, there will still be significant human exposure to climate change, particularly in tropical coastal areas; such exposure will be much greater if GHG concentrations continue to rise throughout the twenty-first century and will not differentiate between poor or rich countries. The multitude of climate hazards that could simultaneously impact any given society highlights the diversity of adaptations that will probably be needed and the considerable economic and welfare burden that will be imposed by projected climate change triggered by ongoing GHG emissions. Overall, our analysis shows that ongoing climate change will pose a heightened threat to humanity that will be greatly aggravated if substantial and timely reductions of GHG emissions are not achieved.
Every election from here on out is going to be all about who is going to save my grandchildren from onrushing doom.
Camilo Mora, Daniele Spirandelli, Erik C. Franklin, John Lynham, Michael B. Kantar, Wendy Miles, Charlotte Z. Smith, Kelle Freel, Jade Moy, Leo V. Louis, Evan W. Barba, Keith Bettinger, Abby G. Frazier, John F. Colburn IX, Naota Hanasaki, Ed Hawkins, Yukiko Hirabayashi, Wolfgang Knorr, Christopher M. Little, Kerry Emanuel, Justin Sheffield, Jonathan A. Patz & Cynthia L. Hunter (2018) Broad threat to humanity from cumulative climate hazards intensified by greenhouse gas emissions. Nature Climate Change doi.org/10.1038/s41558-018-0315-6.