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ASU professor echoes UN climate change concerns

The landmark study was issued Monday, warning that the world could see dire consequences of climate change as soon as 2040.

A new United Nations report, issued Monday, paints a harrowing picture of the effects of climate change on our earth.

The landmark UN study says climate change will have dire consequences as soon as 2040, impacting everything from wildfires, to food shortages, to a massive killing of coral reefs.

“The expert community is not surprised at the 2040 estimation by the new IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report. I think the public perhaps is, because climate warming is incremental,” said B.L. Turner II, an Arizona State professor who works with the panel who issued the report.

Scientists say that in just over two decades, the earth could warm by nearly three degrees. It doesn't sound like much, but experts say the change could intensify drought and noticeably raise sea levels. That would disproportionally impact island nations and those in severe poverty.

READ: Life-or-death warning in global warming report from UN

“Everything that we see now that’s been generated by warfare, for instance in the Middle East, we’re going to see generated by lack of access to food,” said Turner.

The study was commissioned as part of the Paris Agreement, which the U.S. will withdraw from in 2020 at the behest of President Trump.

Turner says, if countries don’t work together, the results could be catastrophic.

“We think in small time slots as a public and we don’t pay attention to how that accumulation has a relatively significant impact," he said.

In Arizona, Turner says we could be looking at severe drought. He says the average Arizonan can help by making your home energy efficient and by passing Proposition 127– which would force the state’s power companies to use more renewably energy. Turner admits, however, the proposition will likely cost more money. He says that may be the biggest reason the world has been slow to react.

“We haven’t found a cheap technological solution... In my view, it’s that simple," Turner said.

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