Extreme Weather Will Occur More Frequently Worldwide Even if 2C Paris Target Met

  • Even if we stay under 2C, extreme events -heat, floods, drought – will become more likely in the decades ahead. And if countries do not meet the Paris climate agreement goals, the risks will be even greater
  • Overall, up to 60% of locations across North America, Europe, East Asia and parts of southern South America would likely see at least a 3x and up to 5x increase in some areas increase in various extreme events, according to a Stanford study published yesterday in the journal Science Advances.
  • The country pledges to the Paris climate accord may put the world on track to warm by about 3 C, unless significantly greater climate action is promised—and soon.

By Chelsea Harvey, ClimateWire on February 15, 2018 see full article here

…the pledges world nations have submitted under the Paris Agreement are likely still not enough to keep global temperatures within the 2 C threshold envisioned by the accord. Experts suggest that the pledges may put the world on track to warm by about 3 C, unless significantly greater climate action is promised—and soon.

In addition to not meeting the global temperature target, those commitments also imply substantial increase in the probability of record-setting events,” said Noah Diffenbaugh, a Stanford University climate researcher and the new study’s lead author. “Not only hot events but wet events, and also in other regions of the world, dry events as well.”…

….Heat records are likely to be among the most sensitive to future climate change. Record-breaking nighttime temperatures have already been increasing across 90 percent of the studied areas, the research suggests, and these records may increase by at least fivefold across half of Europe and a quarter of East Asia. Extreme wet events and milder cold spells are also expected to increase throughout the world, and extreme dry events will see an uptick in certain regions, mainly in the midlatitudes.

Strengthening the Paris pledges could help significantly reduce the risks of extreme climate events, the new research suggests, although it warns that these events will still become more frequent in the future, even if temperature increases stay under 2 C.

….The findings, overall, carry a double warning. First, even with aggressive climate action, extreme climate events are likely to increase throughout much of the world—and human societies should brace themselves for that future, no matter what. But those mitigation efforts are still sorely needed, the research also suggests. Without them, the risks could be far more intense.

Noah S. Diffenbaugh, Deepti Singh, and Justin S. Mankin. Unprecedented climate events: Historical changes, aspirational targets, and national commitments. Science Advances, 14 Feb 2018 DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aao3354

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