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Last edited 21 Jul 2022
The cascade effect, (or cascading effect) is when an action or event causes a chain of subsequent unforeseen events, normally negatively, impacting one another. The word might be used with reference to a variety of systems from computer systems to ecological systems where an event in a system has a negative impact on other, related systems or sub-systems. Also referred to as knock-on effects or feedback loops.
In 2018 The World Economic Forum, in recognising the global risks, associated with extreme weather events, natural disasters, and failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation programmes, described these as highly interconnected because they cascade across many different domains. A study released prior to COP 26 talks of climate hazards such as extreme heat, drought and storms that could trigger "cascading impacts" that may be felt around the world within the next decade.
A world where weather patterns impact access housing, food security, health services, economic activity and water supply, where previously perceived as disconnected elements, have now become connected systems cascading and being more significant jointly than separately.
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