Feature

A climate for calamity

The week's news at a glance.

Washington, D.C.

Abrupt climate change could render parts of Europe “unlivable” by 2020, and reduce Earth to a “world of warring states,” according to a Pentagon study. Intense global warming could melt polar ice and swell the oceans with fresh water, altering sea currents that warm the Northern hemisphere. America would suffer economic damage but avoid catastrophe, while Europe’s climate would chill and become “more like Siberia’s.” A “cold and hungry” China would erupt in civil war. The authors of the report, “Imagining the Unthinkable,” said they were not predicting that such climate changes would actually happen. Rather, they wanted “to dramatize the impact climate change could have on society if we are unprepared for it.”

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