No one is safe from climate change: IPCC report

Climate change is going to have an impact on the daily lives of everyone on planet earth, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The findings of the international scientific organisation’s latest report, which focused on the impacts of, adaptations to and vulnerability to climate change, were announced this week at a press conference in Yokohama, Japan.

IPCC chairman Dr Rajendra K Pachauri said: “We have assessed impacts as they are happening and impacts on natural and human systems on all continents and oceans and I would like to emphasise that in view of these impacts and those that we have projected for the future, nobody on this planet is going to be untouched by the impacts of climate change.”

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Pachauri warned that there could be a major impact on food security, with a change in climate conditions damaging crop yields.

“This really would be a severe challenge for some of the poorest communities and poorest regions in the world,” he said, adding that for the poorest there would be an increased risk of death from heat and vector-borne disease – diseases such as malaria that are transmitted by insects or other organisms.

However, he also stressed that it was not just the poorest who would be affected. In addition to food supply, which, given the popularity of imported foods in many parts of the world, is likely to affect everyone, Pachauri indentified a possible increase of extreme events, which would have an impact on “morbidity and mortality”.

“There could also be severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts on species and there is a risk of crossing tipping points as a result of increasing temperatures,” he added.

For coastal areas and island nations the outlook is particularly grim. “In areas like low-lying coastal areas, the small island states which are very vulnerable to sea level rise, there would be a possible breakdown of infrastructure networks, key services like electricity supply,” said Pachauri.

There are also likely to be other far-reaching social impacts as a result of climate change.

“Climate change can lead to displacement, can lead to increased conflicts,” said Pachauri. “There are already several stressors that are leading to conflicts in certain parts of the world – the impacts of climate change could well exacerbate those risks.”

But Pachauri stressed that efforts can still be made to mitigate the effects of climate change and highlighted that this was humanity’s only option if we are to minimise the potential damage.

“The one thing we have come up with is the importance of adaptation and mitigation choices because this is the only way that we might be able to reduce the risks of climate change,” he explained.

“I think the ability of human society to embark on a move to climate resilient pathways depends to a large extent of the extent to which we are prepared to mitigate the emissions of greenhouse gases.”


Body image and video courtesy of the IPCC.


In Pictures: Remarkable Designs for Future Skyscrapers

Today eVolo Magazine announced the winners of its annual skyscraper design competition, which is a competition that has been running for eight years to “recognize outstanding ideas for vertical living through the novel use of technology, materials, programs, aesthetics, and spatial organizations.”

With a top prize of $5,000, the competition is always hotly contended, attracting designs from architects, students and designers from around the world.

Here we pick our ten favourites from the winners and honourable mentions.

Winner: Vernacular Versatility

Designer: Yong Ju Lee

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This beautiful design is based on the traditional wooden structural system used in Korean houses, known as Hanoks. But Hanocks have traditionally only been one storey: Ju Lee has really innovated in making the structure work as a skyscraper.


Second Place: Car And Shell Skyscraper: Or Marinetti’s Monster

Designers: Mark Talbot, Daniel Markiewicz

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This city in the sky proposal is designed for the US city of Detroit. Designed in a grid system encompassing recreational and commercial areas, the design comes with a manifesto for the bankrupt city.


Honourable Mention: Sand Babel: Solar-Powered 3D Printed Tower

Designers: Qiu Song, Kang Pengfei, Bai Ying, Ren Nuoya, Guo Shen
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This desert-based design is meant as a tourist attraction-cum-research facility made by 3D printing sand. The project takes inspiration from various natural elements to create and beautiful and organic-looking structure.


Honourable Mention: Climatology Tower

Designers: Yuan-Sung Hsiao, Yuko Ochiai, Jia-Wei Liu, Hung-Lin Hsieh
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This design is for an urban research centre to assess a city’s climate and improve the environment with mechanical engineering. The project is designed to be a kind of doctor for a city, identifying microclimate problems and taking steps to resolve them.


Honourable Mention: Hyper-Speed Vertical Train Hub

Designers: Christopher Christophi, Lucas Mazarrasa
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This design is a proposal for a future transport hub that utilises the vertical exterior of the building for tracks as a way of saving increasingly fought-over space. The carriage interiors will pivot like a ferris wheel, ensuring that passengers always remain upright.


Honourable Mention: Bamboo Forest: Skyscrapers and Scaffoldings In Symbiosis

Designer: Thibaut Deprez
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This design takes inspiration from bamboo scaffolding, which is used in many parts of Asia, to create skyscrapers that are extremely flexible in use. A grid design means each unit can be easily customised, enabling occupants to adjust the space to meet their needs.


Honourable Mention: PieXus Tower: Maritime Transportation Hub Skyscraper For Hong Kong

Designers: Chris Thackrey, Steven Ma, Bao An Nguyen Phuoc, Christos Koukis, Matus Nedecky
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Designed as a transportation hub for the ever-crowded Hong Kong, this project is intended to neighbour the main ferry terminal. The flowing shapes around the outside not only look amazing but also serve a purpose: they allow cars to drive up the tower to access shops, business shapes and residential areas.


Honourable Mention: Hyper Filter Skyscraper

Designer: Umarov Alexey
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This pine cone-like design provides a valuable environmental function to smoggy and polluted cities: it ‘breathes’. Each tube-like protrusion is designed to inhale carbon dioxide and other harmful gases and exhale concentrated oxygen, cleaning the air of cities in a striking and unusual way.


Honourable Mention: Project Blue

Designers: Yang Siqi, Zhan Beidi, Zhao Renbo, Zhang Tianshuo
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Polluted air was a definite trend this year: Project Blue is also designed to tackle city smog, but this time with an added benefit. The structures are upside-down cooling towers that extract surplus carbon dioxide and convert it into water coal, which can in turn be converted into methane for use as fuel.


Honourable Mention: Urban Alloy Tower

Designers: Matt Bowles, Chad Kellog
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This stunning design is intended for existing cities such as New York to create new living space without needing to knock down buildings. It sits around existing transport interchanges, and uses a unique structural method to maximise both views and light access.


Images courtesy of eVolo.