Developed countries are not immune to climate change, warns NOAA chief

Climate change is happening faster than was expected, and it is happening all over the world – in rich as well as poor countries.

That was the message from the third World Climate Conference, held in Geneva last week, according to Jane Lubchenco, administrator of the US’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The conference, focusing on global warming science and climate prediction, was hosted by the World Meteorological Organisation.

Talking to the Financial Times after the event, Dr Lubchenco said: “Every single country in the world is being affected by climate change.”

The US has been no exception. “Climate change has already impacted on different regions of the US, and on different sectors of our economy,” said Dr Lubchenco, citing a recent US government report on the impacts of climate change across the country.

“There is no doubt that climate change is happening in our own backyard.”

She said countries like the US must “begin adapting”, which would require “good knowledge, good forecasts and better delivery of what we are now calling climate services”.

Although knowledge of climate change was increasing among the US public, there was still a long way to go in educating people about its impacts on them, she said.

“You have to show it’s relevant to people’s lives and jobs,” she concluded.

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