Climate change report: Watch out Mumbai and Miami

A new climate change report says parts of Mumbai, India, could become uninhabitable from floods, storms and rising seas. Other coastal ciies, such as Miami, are also at risk from rising seas.

(AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade/file)
Indians stroll near Nariman point, an area reclaimed from the sea which is now the lower tip of the city, in Mumbai, India. Sea levels rising because of global warming, along with increased storminess as the climate changes, will expose tens of millions of people in the world's port cities to coastal flooding, says a new IPCC report.

Global warming is leading to such severe storms, droughts and heat waves that nations should prepare for an unprecedented onslaught of deadly and costly weather disasters, an international panel of climate scientists says in a report issued Wednesday.

The greatest danger from extreme weather is in highly populated, poor regions of the world, the report warns, but no corner of the globe — from Mumbai to Miami — is immune. The document by a Nobel Prize-winning panel of climate scientists forecasts stronger tropical cyclones and more frequent heat waves, deluges and droughts.

The 594-page report by  Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change  (IPCC) blames the scale of recent and future disasters on a combination of man-made climate change, population shifts and poverty.

"We mostly experience weather and climate through the extreme," said Stanford University climate scientist Chris Field, who is one of the report's top editors. "That's where we have the losses. That's where we have the insurance payments. That's where things have the potential to fall apart.

"There are lots of places that are already marginal for one reason or another," Field said. But it's not just poor areas: "There is disaster risk almost everywhere."

The scientists say that some places, particularly parts of Mumbai in India, could become uninhabitable from floods, storms and rising seas. In 2005, over 24 hours nearly 3 feet of rain fell on the city, killing more than 1,000 people and causing massive damage. Roughly 2.7 million people live in areas at risk of flooding.

IN PICTURES: Extreme weather 2012

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