When Worlds Collide #61: Climate Change – Adapt Now or Perish Later!

When Worlds Collide, by Nalaka Gunawardene

Text of my ‘When Worlds Collide’ column published in Ceylon Today Sunday newspaper on 7 April 2013

As Sri Lanka sizzles in April heat, some ask: is this due to global warming?

Well, not exactly: high temperatures are typical for this time of the year. At the same time, meteorologists confirm that average temperatures in Sri Lanka have risen by almost one degree Centigrade during the past 70 years.

Global warming accelerated by human activity is now scientifically accepted. The UN’s climate panel (IPCC) predicts that global average temperatures could rise by somewhere between 2 degree and 6 degrees Centigrade by 2100. (And we thought this is too hot!)

The big challenge for most non-specialists is: how can we discern climate change impacts that unfold slowly over time and in many different ways?

Dr W L Sumathipala, former head and now chief advisor of the Environment Ministry’s climate change secretariat

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