The United Nations’ World Meteorological Organization released a set of mock television “weather reports from the future” this week to show how climate change could drastically affect life on Earth in 2050. The three reports show how climate change would make Europe a frying pan, bring massive flooding to Southeast Asia and cause dangerous weather fluctuations in South America.
The fictional reports are being released in conjunction with the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change in Lima, which ends Dec. 12. The Peru conference is a followup to the U.N. Climate Summit that took place during the General Assembly meeting in September.
A key debate is over whether to enact binding emission targets for all countries. The European Union wants the targets, but the United States wants individual countries to have the freedom to set their own timeline and the scope of reductions, according to the Guardian.
The U.N. climate projections show France experiencing a heat wave that brings average temperatures around the country above 95 degrees Fahrenheit in August 2050. The afternoon temperature in Paris is 104 and over 109 in Nimes, near the Mediterranean coast. The dramatized weather report was made in conjunction with Météo-France, the national meteorological service. France can expect to see those temperatures once every four years by 2050, the presenter said.
In October 2050, regular flooding in the south of Vietnam has prompted the government to build dikes to save land, but that has caused fish in the river to die or move downstream, leaving local fishermen with nothing to catch. The flooding has reached heights of 6 feet along the coast and 5 feet as far as 18 miles inland, the presenter states in the mock weather report.
“The whole Mekong Delta, Vietnam’s largest 'rice bowl,' and the coastal region of Southern Vietnam, where many big cities are located, are under water,” said the presenter, before telling viewers that the country's biggest metropolis, Ho Chi Minh City, has been devastated by flooding.
On the first day of summer in Peru, global climate change has led to one of the most devastating El Niño cycles yet, according to the U.N. report. El Niños are weather cycles along the equator caused by the warming of the Pacific Ocean. They occur every two to seven years. The high temperatures they bring often cause droughts that ravage farming in South America and cut rice production across Southeast Asia, according to Bloomberg.
In the U.N. report, southern Peru is facing a water shortage, while regions in the north are experiencing heavy rain and temperatures above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. In the capital, Lima, UV radiation levels are dangerously high, which, the presenter said, “has been a recurrent feature in the last few years.”
“The vision of a future irreparably harmed by climate change does not have to come to be,” said Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change. “We need a new, robust global climate agreement and we need local policy that points us toward green growth and action by investors, industry, cities and regions.”
The World Meteorological Organization is scheduled to release three more mock 2050 weather reports, for Spain, Canada and Norway.