Evidence of short term fluctuations in the global climate (on the scale of 100-200 years) indicates that a major sustained shift in climate began in 1950 and is likely to persist for the rest of the century. This will affect different regions in different ways. Winters in the northern temperate zones will tend to be much more severe, whereas arid and semi-arid zones will tend to be much drier. These changes are a consequence of changing wind patterns, although it is expected that the variability will increase. So while the general trend is towards colder, drier weather, the changes from year to year may be even sharper than before. These changes will considerably aggravate the problems of drought and desertification in the arid zones and will aggravate transportation and flooding problems in temperate zones. Ocean temperature changes are both causes and effects of meteorological changes. Changes in atmospheric climate may be accompanied by temperature anomalies in the seas. The consequences to this may be reduction of fish catches in some areas by 80%.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
Non-profit, apolitical, independent, and non-governmental in nature, the UIA has been a pioneer in the research, monitoring and provision of information on international organizations, international associations and their global challenges since 1907.