UN Draft Report Predicts More Natural Disasters Due to Global Warming

The recent flooding in Thailand that left hundreds dead and thousands displaced is likely to become more common, according to a draft United Nations report.

The U.N. report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a panel of the world’s top climate scientists, suggests that global warming is likely to increase extreme weather patterns across the globe, including floods, droughts and blizzards.

Man-made greenhouse gases have likely already increased climate extremes, according to the report.

In addition to the rising waters in Thailand, floods have ravaged parts of Italy and El Salvador. Droughts have plagued the southwestern United States, and an unseasonal winter storm in the northeast has left 12 dead and more than 3 million homes without power.

The recent blizzard may not be a result of global warming, but flooding and droughts are a direct effect of the change in climate, scientists said.

"The extremes are a really noticeable aspect of climate change," said Jerry Meehl, senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, to the Associated Press. "I think people realize that the extremes are where we are going to see a lot of the impacts of climate change."

Climate experts predict the number and intensity of hurricanes to increase, as well as heat waves similar to the one in 2010 that in blamed for causing thousands of deaths in Russia.

The report coincides with the world population topping 7 billion Monday. It also suggests that the increased population will mean extreme weather patterns to affect more people at once.

It is not immediately clear how extreme weather patterns will affect global business. The recent flooding in Thailand, however, has led to business disruption in at least two continents.

Toyota and Honda recently cut production in their North American plants, due to a supply shortage in parts arriving from Thailand. Electronics makers in Japan and the U.S. have also lost business because of the supply shortage.

The full report on global warming is slated to be released in the coming weeks.

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