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Triple Jeopardy: Children Face Dark Future of Climate Disasters

A study shows intergenerational inequities across the board

A child born in 2021 will live on average through seven times as many heat waves, twice as many wildfires and nearly three times as many droughts, crop failures and river floods as their grandparents, according to a study released Sunday that looks at how different generations will be affected by climate change.

The results, published in the journal Science, found that global warming will disproportionately affect the lives of young people and children, particularly when it comes to extreme events worsened by climate change. The research is the first to extensively model extreme events and future climate scenarios and to apply the projections across demographic groups to quantify how people in different age groups around the world will experience climate disasters across their lifetimes.

The outlook is troubling if the pace of global warming continues unchecked, said Wim Thiery, a climate scientist at Vrije Universiteit Brussel in Belgium, who led the research.

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