Editor’s Note: Forecasting Effects of Climate Change

The Chicago Policy Review is pleased to present a three-part series highlighting some of the potential future effects of climate change on society. Although there is much that we do not yet know about how climate change may impact our lives, we wanted to share with you our evaluation of three possible effects that climate change is likely to have—the impact of rising temperatures on agricultural productivity; the effect of climate change on emigration and within-country migration in low and middle-income countries; and, lastly, how climate change may contribute to or exacerbate global conflict.

Over the next few weeks, world leaders from over 190 countries will meet in Paris for the Conference of the Parties (COP), a conference of United Nations’ member countries tasked with creating an international agreement to curb global carbon emissions. Although this conference has occurred annually since 1992, the impetus for the international community to establish universal, legally binding measures to limit global warming is now stronger than it has ever been. Rising sea levels, a surge of extreme weather events, and the appearance of the world’s first climate refugees have already demonstrated that action needs to be taken by policymakers to combat global temperature increases. Activists, climate scientists, and the public will be watching anxiously as the events of this seminal conference unfold.

Climate change is considered by most to be an inevitable reality: a defining issue that will require innovation and adaptation by future generations. This series of research briefs aims to shed light on some of the potential effects that climate change may have on our future way of life. The series does not cover all aspects of climate change, nor does it address all viewpoints. Rather, our hope is that readers view this collection as a small sampling of the big-picture effects that climate change may have on people across the globe, and that our series helps readers develop an informed understanding of this often misrepresented issue.

Feature Photo: cc/(Lori Semprevio)

Hannah Bent
Hannah ('17) is a senior editor for the Energy & Environment section. She is interested in sustainability and urban environmental issues.

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