Scientist Chris Field from the IPCC says the current trajectory of climate change is now much worse than the IPCC had originally projected in part due to China and India's increasing reliance on coal power.
The research shows carbon emissions have grown sharply since 2000, despite growing concerns about climate change. During the 1990s, carbon emissions grew by less than 1% per year. Since 2000, emissions have grown at a rate of 3.5% per year. No part of the world had a decline in emissions from 2000 to 2008. In 2010, global emissions reached a record.
Field told the American Association for the Advancement of Science:
"We are basically looking now at a future climate beyond anything we've considered seriously in climate model situations."
Report from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA):
Climate disasters are on the rise. Around 70 percent of disasters are now climate related - up from around 50 percent from two decades ago.
These disasters take a heavier human toll and come with a higher price tag. In the last decade, 2.4 billion people were affected by climate related disasters, compared to 1.7 billion in the previous decade. The cost of responding to disasters has risen tenfold between 1992 and 2008.
Destructive sudden heavy rains, intense tropical storms, repeated flooding and droughts are likely to increase, as will the vulnerability of local communities in the absence of strong concerted action.
Climate change is not just a distant future threat. It is the main driver behind rising humanitarian needs and we are seeing its impact. The number of people affected and the damages inflicted by extreme weather has been unprecedented.
Unless we can reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to 350 parts per million, we will cause huge and irreversible damage to the earth.